Dr Ruthroberts Ask the Vet: Pet Dental Health

Ask the Vet: Pet Dental Health

Bulldog Looking Up
I’m very excited because, over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about pet dental care. This is a topic that is often overlooked for pet owners, so I am glad I’ll be able to address this important factor in keeping your cat or dog healthy.

As a pet parent, I know firsthand how tricky it is to properly take care of your pet’s teeth, especially when Mr. Whiskers would rather bite your fingers than have to deal with a toothbrush in his mouth.
Here’s hoping my advice will help!

Question: We’ve been feeding our 8-year-old Furbaby the Crockpet Diet for a year and a half, and we all absolutely love it. My question concerns her teeth. I brush her teeth nightly and use store-bought toothpaste. I’m wondering if you have some ideas for homemade teeth-cleaning products?

Wow, I applaud how dedicated you are to a nightly tooth-brushing routine. I’m sure your furbaby’s mouth is incredibly healthy because of you!

As for your question, you can find homemade dog toothpaste recipes all over the internet.
Here’s a good example of one: Easy Home Made Dog Toothpaste 

If you use this recipe, try leaving out the cinnamon as it can be irritating, and also switch out calcium carbonate for baking soda as it seems to be less abrading. Don’t ever use Xylitol as it is toxic for animals.
Good luck making toothpaste from home!

Question: My Jack Russell is three and I have been feeding her PlaqueOff as her gums are red, and her teeth have a lot of plaque. So far, her teeth and gums have not improved. Should I have her teeth cleaned at this point? What else can I do to help her? She is on a raw diet.

Great question!
Plaque-off generally takes a couple of months to show an effect, so you may need to have the teeth cleaned. It’s better to start with a clean baseline, especially if there is redness at the gum line.

Three-years-old  is young for serious dental issues, so dental x-rays will be important, too.

In the meantime, try giving her big chunks of carrots that have to be gnawed on to reduce tartar or large raw bones with supervision. I also recommend that you try to start a Doggy Dental Hygiene routine and begin brushing her teeth at home!

I wish you the best.

Question: I would love to give my dog, with kidney disease, raw beef rib bones. Is that appropriate for her? This is how I keep her teeth clean.

Raw bones are great for helping keep teeth clean, and as long as most of the protein is removed from the outside, they should be safe.

An alternative way to keep your pup’s teeth clean is to give her large pieces of carrot to chew on. If your pet is unsure about the carrot, you can try coating it with a small amount of peanut butter or coconut oil to increase interest.

I hope you’ve been able to manage your pet’s kidney disease symptoms. If you need any help making your pup feel better, please check out my Comprehensive Kidney Health Program.

Question: My golden retriever pup is 11 weeks old. How do you handle the play biting? She grabs my clothes and my hands and pulls on them. I try to distract her with a toy if that does not work I put her either in her crate or playpen and ignore her for a minute or so. What should I do?

Ahhh, teething! It’s no fun for both you and your pup!

Help relieve the pain in your dog’s mouth by offering her frozen toys, like rope bones soaked in chicken stock to help keep her gums numb and her mouth happier.

If she continues to bite, try curling her top lip under as you are being chewed on. This  helps your puppy realize that it hurts her to bite you.

If nothing else works, you have the right instinct to put your pup in “time out” for a few minutes. Removing your hands from the situation is often the best course of action.

Besides the teething, I hope things are going well with your new family member!

If you found these answers to your pet dental problems to be helpful, I am so glad. I hope you’ll continue to submit other questions so I can provide you with the information you need to ensure your furbaby is safe, healthy, and happy.

Click on the image below to submit your questions for the vet!
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