Monday, February 28, 2011

Pet Oral Health Month

Astrea is all smiles after getting a hair cut and her teeth brushed.

It's the last day of February, BUT, it's still February - so it's still Pet Oral Health Month. I actually had no idea how important oral health is, until the vet brought Astrea's to my attention. When I first brought Astrea home she was having a flare up of demodectic mange. I did not want to put her through the dips that would clear it up and because I don't know her true breed putting her on ivermectin was too risky for me. I did some research and put her on a diet that would boost her immune system and get her little body fighting off the demodex. The diet was great for her immune system, but because it was all wet food she started to have plaque buildup on her teeth. The vet and I chatted and he recommended putting her on a diet that included more hard foods and supplementing with teeth brushing at home and what Astrea really liked, Greenie's Treats!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we LOVE Greenie's in our house. Pill Pockets got Sancho through months of medications and the Greenie's Dental Chews keep Astrea's teeth clean and happy. Greenie's has teamed up with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) in and effort to get the word out on not only why your pet's oral health is important, but how to know if the products you are using are truly effective.

The VOHC is an organization created by the American Veterinary Dental College
to recognize products that reduce plaque and tartar buildup. It is similar to the American Dental Association (ADA) for human oral care. The VOHC is an international organization of board certified veterinary dentists that has established strict testing protocols for products related to oral health. The VOHC awards a Seal of Acceptance to pet products that meet established standards in helping to delay
plaque and tartar. When purchasing products look for the VOHC seal so you know that you're buying a truly effective product.

So why should you care about your pet's oral hygiene?

-- Periodontal disease is the most common health issue in pets.
-- Up to 80% of dogs and 70% of cats develop periodontal disease by age three.
-- Plaque buildup associated with periodontal disease encourages the growth of harmful bacteria.
-- Blood-borne bacterial infection and other pathogens from periodontal disease are considered risk factors by many veterinarians in the development of heart, kidney, liver and respiratory diseases.
-- The good news: periodontal disease is easy to prevent. Comprehensive dental care—oral assessment and treatment by the veterinarian at least annually and daily prevention at home—helps to ensure a healthy pet.
-- Many veterinary dentists believe that good oral health increases a pet’s longevity.

Maintaining your pet's oral health is easy - so don't let it go by the wayside! Brushing their teeth is the best way to take care of their oral health, but let's face it, we all know our pets are not always ready and willing to submit to hygiene practices. So between teeth brushing, supplement with a yummy Greenie's Treat, or another VOHC approved oral health product.


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