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Toothbrush, Anyone?

When done correctly, a COHAT (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) is a complex and time-consuming process. The importance of the exam cannot be overstated, as a pet’s mouth with dental disease can be very painful. When not done properly, the dental care can actually be harmful, speeding the process of tooth decline and loss.

A COHAT is not a once in a lifetime procedure, but should be part of a pet’s regular wellness care. A commitment to aggressive home care, including daily brushing and dental chews will decrease the frequency of doing a professional prophy. Human dentists recommend twice yearly prophys and that is for people who brush and floss regularly. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that a pet’s mouth can develop dental disease as young as two years old and may need a COHAT every year. The procedure includes evaluating gum health, measuring and charting periodontal pockets, full mouth x-rays and nerve blocks before we start electronic and hand scaling. Without extractions our COHAT takes about 1.5-2 hours from start to finish. Severe disease, extractions and other factors can easily double the time necessary to do a complete and professional COHAT.

We recommend that you begin brushing your pet’s teeth early. Minimum tartar buildup and gum redness makes a COHAT much easier. Anything less than a complete COHAT is not worth the money spent. Pet health insurance often pay for a portion of dental procedures.

Deceptive television ads

TV dog food advertisements often contain untruths. Dogs are no longer wild animals. They have been domesticated for over 30,000 years and their digestive systems and nutritional needs have adapted to their role as human companions.

Grain, particularly corn, is not a filler, it is a quality nutrient. Corn contains lots of energy, has a great, well tolerated gluten protein and has healthy omega fatty acids.

When a dry food lists meat as the number one ingredient you should know that the label must state the ingredients in order of amount before processing. Meat is 70% water and dry food is 10% moisture which means the meat may no longer be the most common ingredient.

By-products and grain meals are not necessarily a negative when present in foods. These nutrient sources are regulated by AAFCO to contain only healthy, edible and digestible animal parts. Also, because these sources are already processed, they pose fewer negative risks.

Most online pet food ratings are not science based. Your veterinarian remains your best source for solid, science based pet food information.

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