A recent study by a renowned animal health organization revealed two-thirds of pet owners don’t provide the basic dental care recommended by their veterinarians.
I don’t believe owners intentionally set out to ignore their pet’s dental hygiene by not brushing. Rather, I think they simply don’t realize how important proper oral care is for their cat’s or dog’s overall well-being.
Neglecting your pet’s teeth results in more than just stinky breath and sore, inflamed gums. Just like with your own dental health, inadequate care of your pet’s mouth can lead to painful tooth and bone loss or negative effects on his heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs.
Maintaining your pet’s oral health is one of the most important things you can do for his overall health.
Regular care of your pet’s teeth and gums is an essential part of dog or cat ownership. Our pets can’t do it for themselves, so it’s up to us to take responsibility and do it for them.
I’ve discovered – and have used in my clinic for years – an oral care solution that often brings tremendous results in a very short time.
What appeals to many of my patients’ owners is you can use it even without brushing your pet’s teeth.
Of course, I recommend brushing for faster and more complete results, but it's not a necessity for uncooperative kitties and pups.
Before I tell you more about this dental care solution, let’s cover some basics and discuss a few things you can start doing right away to support your pet’s oral cleanliness.
What Contributes to Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene
How fast your pet’s teeth get dirty depends on several factors:
- Your pet’s age and breed
- Genetic tendencies
- The food your pet eats (diets containing rice, corn, wheat, tapioca, or potatoes promote the need for more frequent dental cleaning)
- The amount of saliva your pet produces (the more, the better)
Small breed dogs, like Poodles, Maltese, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Papillions, and Pomeranians, tend to be more prone to dirty teeth. They not only have smaller mouths and teeth, and need cleaning the most, they can also be the most challenging dental patients.
Although far from small, Greyhounds also have a tendency for problem teeth.
The felines most prone to dirty teeth are purebred Persians, Siamese, Abyssinians, Maine Coons, and Somalis.
And the need for increased focus on oral care dramatically increases for older dogs and cats.
Are Pet Oral Care Products Safe?
Several products – and even foods – claim to help clean your pet’s teeth. They include specially treated kibble, treats, chews, oral sprays, oral gels, and even water additives.
Before you pick up a bag of one of these "oral care" formulas, here are a few facts you need to know…
To create many of these "dental care" kibble and treats, manufacturers coat the food with a man-made industrial polymer called sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP).
According to its Material Safety Data Sheet, SHMP can be hazardous to humans if swallowed. A study on rats found it negatively affected their kidneys, growth, bones, muscles, liver, and thyroid.
Just because a product may be labeled and advertised as "safe" or "all-natural," doesn’t mean they’re necessary safe. Always look closely at all the ingredients in these products.
6-Step Approach for Clean, Healthy Teeth
Fortunately, you can make a difference in your pet’s dental cleanliness without these products that claim to help. I recommend a six-step approach for every pet owner to follow at home:
- Feed your pet a fresh, species-appropriate diet whenever you can.
Carbohydrates in pet food can speed up the accumulation of debris on your pet’s teeth. However, a species-appropriate raw diet can do the opposite – help clean your pet’s teeth.
This is especially important for cats because they don’t gnaw on chew bones as pups do. Raw meat and ground-up bones mechanically grind against and help clean teeth.
What about dry kibble and crunchy dog biscuits? Is it true they help clean teeth as many people think?
Contrary to what pet food manufacturers would like you to believe, kibble removes dirt from your pet’s teeth about as effectively as granola cleans your own teeth.
There are many reasons to feed your dog or cat raw or lightly cooked meat diet, and I consider it an important first step to help keep your pet’s mouth clean.
Encourage your dog to chew on healthy, appropriate bones.
Dogs love to gnaw on bones, and that’s a good thing because the right bones are great for cleaning teeth and gums. An appropriate raw bone provides your dog with hours of pleasurable chewing and stimulates gums, exercises the jawbone, and cleans teeth.
Recreational bones and fully digestible, high-quality dental dog chews can also help keep your dog’s teeth clean. Always avoid cooked meat bones, as they can splinter and inflict serious injury to your pet’s trachea and gastrointestinal tract.
Also, be sure to choose bones that are too large to swallow and replace them with a new one when they might become a choking hazard.
If your dog has health issues, be sure to get your integrative veterinarian’s approval before feeding raw bones. And always supervise your dog when feeding any type of bone.
Know what’s normal inside your pet’s mouth.
Ideally, your pet should allow you to open his mouth, touch his teeth, and massage his gums.
If your pet isn’t comfortable with you touching or peering inside his mouth, start acquainting him with this important habit. Take it slowly, and be sure to praise and reward him for his cooperation.
Once your dog or cat no longer resists you touching his mouth, lift his lips, and examine his gums and teeth. His teeth should be clean, without brownish stains.
Don’t expect to see pearly whites in an adult dog or cat. Yellow staining is normal for pets that are no longer puppies and kittens. Even professional cleaning doesn’t remove staining unless a bleaching agent is applied.
Once you’ve inspected your pet’s mouth a few times, you’ll become familiar with his teeth and gums. Each time you inspect his mouth take note of any changes in the smell of his breath.
If you do observe a change in the smell of his breath or notice inflamed gums, excessive drooling, loose or bleeding teeth, or unusual lumps or bumps anywhere in the mouth, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian, preferably one who practices integrative veterinary medicine, as soon as possible.
Schedule regular oral exams with your integrative veterinarian.
Whether or not you are cleaning your pet’s teeth at home, be sure to schedule regular oral exams with your veterinarian. Annual dental exams, starting at one year of age for cats and small-breed dogs and two years of age for large-breed dogs are recommended for all pets.
In some cases, your veterinarian may advise a professional cleaning for your pet. With a clean mouth or a ‘clean slate,’ you can vow to keep up with cleaning at home moving forward.
Get into the habit of brushing your pet’s teeth.
Once you try it (if you’re not already doing it), you may be surprised at how easy it is to brush your dog’s or cat’s teeth.
It’s ideal to brush your pet’s teeth every night or at least several times a week.
The best time to establish a solid brushing routine is when your cat or dog is young, but nearly any dog or cat of any age can learn to accept having their teeth brushed.
Ease into it slowly, offer plenty of praise and reassurance, and be generous with healthy treats.
Use my Organic Dental Gel between visits to help maintain clean teeth and fresh breath.
While not a replacement for professional oral exams, my Organic Dental Gel can help keep your pet’s teeth cleaner between exams and professional cleanings.
The best part is you don’t have to brush for Dental Gel to work, especially if your pet resists or if brushing isn’t appropriate for your pet.
Although this option by itself is nearly as effective as brushing, I still recommend using a toothbrush with the gel because you’ll experience better and faster results.
My Organic Dental Gel With Botanicals for a Clean Mouth and Fresh Breath
Together with a U.S. company that’s been manufacturing quality herbal dental products for decades, we’ve created a proprietary formula for Dr. Mercola Healthy Pets®.
My Organic Dental Gel for Cats & Dogs contains three plant extracts that can help clean your pet’s teeth, freshen breath and promote clean, healthy gums.
All three active ingredients are plant-based, 100% natural, and safe without potential adverse effects for both cats and dogs. They include:
- Organic Peppermint Leaf Oil (Mentha piperita) – Extracted from peppermint leaves to help freshen breath
- Organic Grapefruit Oil (Citrus paradise) – Derived from grapefruit to help clean teeth
- Organic Grape Seed Oil (Vitis vinifera) – Sourced from non-toxic grape seeds (unlike grapes which are toxic for pets) and is rich in polyphenols and promotes healthy tissue and strong teeth and gums
How to Get Maximum Benefits from Organic Dental Gel
The three active ingredients in my peppermint flavored Organic Dental Gel for Cats & Dogs are designed to work together to help keep teeth clean.
So, how can you get maximum benefits from it for your pet?
Don’t wait to see dirty teeth. Begin using my Organic Dental Gel on your pet as soon as possible. It’s far easier to maintain clean teeth than to clean them once they are dirty.
Organic Dental Gel is easy to use. Just squeeze the recommended amount onto your fingertip or a pet toothbrush. For a medium-sized dog (30 to 49 lbs.), that’s a 1/2 tsp. For a cat, use a very small amount – just 1/16 tsp.
If your pet will allow you to open her mouth, simply apply the gel over her teeth and gums. If not, place the gel on her lips, paw, or muzzle, and allow her to lick it off. The more she licks, the more it will mix with her saliva and coat her teeth and gums.
When applying the gel on your pet’s teeth, focus on the back molars first. Especially with cats, this is where most of the debris accumulates. Move to the pre-molars, canines, and then the incisors.
It’s Never Too Late to Get Started – Order Organic Dental Gel for Cats & Dogs Now
As the saying goes… Today is the first day of the rest of your pet’s life. It’s never too late to provide her with the dental care she deserves.
After all, if you won’t do it for her, who will?
Even if your pet is advanced in age and has a less-than-clean mouth now, know that some oral care is better than none at all. Organic Dental Gel makes it so easy to provide the proper care that your pet of any age needs.
Order Organic Dental Gel for Cats & Dogs today, and know you are making a positive decision for your pet’s overall well-being.