Taking really good care of your beloved canine means looking into all aspects of its health. If you have long believed that feeding and exercise are all you have to do, now is the perfect time to implement changes and add more to Rover’s daily health routine.
One of the key aspects of a dog’s health that you should pay close attention to is its oral health. Just like with humans, a dog’s oral health has a huge impact on its overall wellbeing.
Studies reveal that dental diseases in dogs can shorten their life. Oral infection should never be taken lightly as it can lead to bacterial infections in the bloodstream, which can then damage internal organs.
That being said, as the human best friend of your canine, you hold the responsibility of knowing and applying the best canine oral health strategies to ensure Rover’s oral health. Along with taking your dog to get yearly dental cleanings with your vet, here are six nutrition strategies that can ensure the good condition of your dog’s teeth and gums.
1. Feed your dog more dry kibble
Nutritious dry kibble will not only provide your four-legged buddy the essential vitamins and minerals to boost periodontal health, but its texture also can help in maintaining oral health. The abrasive texture of dry kibble can actually scrape tartar off of a dog’s teeth.
Plus, this type of food has a lower tendency to get lodged between the teeth and gums.
Want to know the best dry and hard kibble for your dog’s teeth? Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council or VOHC seal on the package. The seal indicates that the dog food ensures balanced nutrition and comes with special formulations that make it beneficial for oral health by reducing dental plaque.
2. Add more raw food to your dog’s diet
Raw food contains enzymes that can prevent bacterial plaque. Providing your dog raw meaty bones to chomp on is definitely a good idea.
Also, such bone will not break apart like cooked bones, so you do not have to worry about it breaking off and getting stuck in your dog’s mouth and traveling all the way to the intestines.
3. Include antioxidants
Antioxidants make dogs less prone to common diseases. At the same time, they can prevent periodontal disease. Folic acid, for example, is known to protect and preserve the gums.
So when you buy Rover’s next round of pet food supply, check the nutritional information on the dog food packaging to ensure Vitamin E, Vitamin C (citric acid), Vitamin A, carotenoids and selenium, as well as other important nutrients, are included in every serving.
4. Give your dog probiotics
Dogs put all kinds of things in their mouth, which is why bacteria proliferate quickly around their gums and teeth. Therefore, it is crucial to have them take probiotics.
You can buy canine probiotics from health stores for pets. They usually come in capsule form that you can feed your dog just like dog vitamins. Or, you can get the powder from the capsule and apply it directly to your pup’s gums. There are also probiotics in gel form that you can apply on your dog’s gums.
5. Fatty fish should be included in your dog’s diet
If you have always gravitated more toward red meats for your dog, consider treating it more often to fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon. These are rich in omega 3-fatty acids, which can control periodontal inflammation.
However, before you start feeding fish to your dog, seek the advice of your vet on how to prepare the fish, especially if you want to add it raw to your pup’s meal.
6. Avoid dog food that is high in carbohydrates
Canine diabetes cases are on the rise and a high carbohydrate diet is a contributory factor. What does this have to do with a dog’s oral health? When a dog has diabetes, it automatically becomes more prone to periodontal infection and healing takes much longer.
So, if your dog is prone to diabetes – like golden retrievers, Alaskan malamutes, poodles, and dachshunds – make sure that the food you give it is free from carbohydrates and bad fats, and instead, is rich in proteins and antioxidants.
So, these are the six nutritional strategies to try in improving your dog’s oral health. Pair them with other good dental practices such as regular brushing of teeth, giving your pup tartar-fighting chew toys, and yearly dental cleanings.
With proper nutrition and smart oral care habits, you can be certain that periodontal disease and other dental woes will not cause your beloved canine any suffering.
About the Author
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a BSc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.