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Issue 80: Bow WOW!

It’s pretty well known that humans pay attention to their smiles. In fact, in our image-conscious society, a dazzling smile ranks up there with great hair, a toned body and a keen fashion sense.It might have something to do with the realization that your smile is one of the first things many people notice about you.

Maybe that’s why 10 million Americans spend $1.7 billion on teeth-whitening products and procedures each year. A perfect smile can make a shining impression and can be a confidence booster, but it can also be an indicator of health.

And that goes not only for you, but for Fido as well.

The truth is that as much as we may focus our attention on our own mouths, we don’t always give our pet’s mouth the attention it may deserve—especially if you’ve noticed that your pet’s bark is worse than its bite due to doggy breath.

Let’s face it. Most of us visit our dentists at least twice a year to make sure we maintain oral health. Did you know that veterinarians recommend that your pet’s teeth get evaluated regularly, too? In fact, a visit to the vet often entails a professional tooth cleaning for your furry friend. This helps maintain your pet’s healthy teeth and gums and can pave the way for you to maintain home dental care for your pet.

Here are a few suggestions:

It’s important to use dental products that are made especially for dogs and cats. Human toothpaste, for instance, is never to be used on your pets. Likewise, most vets say that you should also stick to crunchy—not chewy—food and treats. Crunchy food can help keep your pet’s teeth clean, while chewy food can stick to your pet’s teeth and wreak havoc.

Additionally, rope toys for your dog or cat can serve to help keep their teeth clean, while providing entertainment, too! Luckily, you can usually find products for your dog or cat at most pet supply stores or at your veterinarian office, so be sure to check them out.

While you’re there, you can also learn how to better care for your pet’s teeth. That may involve a lesson in proper teeth-brushing for animals, or may even include tooth “cloths” or other oral care products. Ideally, your pet’s teeth should be attended to daily—or at least every few days—to help tame any odors.

The truth is that bad breath, discoloration in the mouth or even tartar buildup can all be indicators that could eventually cause problems in your pet’s mouth. If left unattended, they could lead to even larger, more systemic health issues—and no one wants that for their four-footed friends.

So, if Fido has a bark that’s worse than his bite due to his dragon breath, then you might just want to pay a little more attention to his mouth.

After all, he deserves to have healthy pearly whites, too.


This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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