How to avoid the most common canine health issue

How to avoid the most common canine health issue

As loving dog owners, we often focus on exercise, grooming, and vet visits to keep our furry friends healthy. Despite this, we can often forget about the daily basics, like mouth maintenance.

A VetCompass study found that periodontal disease was by far the most commonly diagnosed disorder in the UK (12.5% of dogs had it!)

Just like in humans, what your dog eats plays a crucial role in their dental health. Here’s a guide to understanding the impact of diet on your dog's teeth and how you can make the best choices to ensure they have a bright, healthy smile.

The Connection Between Diet and Dental Health

Your dog’s diet directly influences their dental health. Poor nutrition can lead to plaque buildup, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Conversely, a well-balanced diet helps maintain strong teeth and gums, reducing the need for costly dental treatments.

Wrong Chews

I see bad chews all over the internet, they're either useless or useless and toxic. Plastic chews are unacceptable in my opinion, with the new research that’s connecting microplastics to cancers and other hormone related issues, it’s madness to give a dog a plastic chew.

Any edible chews from big brands tend to include some of the least healthy ingredients. They called it a “gnaw brush” or something catchy and owners then tend to ignore the ingredients. I don’t even think there’s any evidence to suggest those products actually work.

Gnawing Benefits

Gnawing promotes dental health. Not chewing, gnawing. The only real thing that can do this are raw bones. How do wild dogs keep their teeth clean? By gnawing on raw bones. Why do 12.5% of UK dogs have periodontal disease, by so many owners are scared of these amazing natural chews.

General Diet

Avoid dry food, it gets stuck in your dog’s teeth. Chew a biscuit and you’ll know what I am talking about. 

Avoid foods with additives or preservatives or colourings that will stain your dog’s teeth.

Avoid too many meals per day. The more times your dog’s eating the more likely food will gather in the mouth and cause bacteria build up.

Choose decent fresh food meals to promote a healthy gut microbiome. A balanced microbiome leads to a healthy gut. The teeth are in the gut, and therefore affected by the balance of bacteria. 

Healthy Snacks

Incorporate certain vegetables and fruits into your dog’s diet. Apples (minus the seeds), carrots, and celery can act as natural toothbrushes while providing essential vitamins and minerals. Introduce these foods in moderation and ensure they are safe for your dog.

Maintaining your dog's dental health through diet is about balance and informed choices. By combining a nutritious diet with good dental hygiene practices, you can help your dog maintain strong teeth and gums, ensuring they stay happy and healthy.

- Cam, The Dog Nutritionist 

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