New Year Resolutions
Submitted by Lisa A. Yackel, CVPM, PHR
Hospital Administrator at Case Veterinary Hospital
My little terrier mix dog, Jake, is two years old. Well, we think he is two but as a stray with unknown gaps in his history, we have to go by our best guess estimate. One way we derived at his age was the condition of his teeth when I adopted him a little over a year ago. They were definitely those of a younger dog, but he was starting to get some tartar buildup on them. His condition at adoption was poor-malnourished and a severe upper respiratory condition. My first plan of action was to get him on a good diet, put some weight on him, and get rid of that nasty cough and raspy lung sounds.
Immediately, I put him on Science Diet Healthy Advantage. His skin became glossy, his infection went away with the help of antibiotics, and he began to gain weight. He actually took on another personality as he began to get energy and feel good! The second benefit was I began to see some of that plaque lessen. As he began to feel better, I concentrated less on his weight and began to think more along the lines of preventative care for a young dog. I am a BIG believer in dental hygiene. For one, I like to cuddle with my dogs and they are close enough to my nose that I am intolerant of bad breath! Secondly, I know the medical advantages of doing preventative care to stave off having to have frequent dental cleanings.
Being quite the hyper dog, teeth brushing proved to be too much of an ordeal for Jake (and me). My previous dog had always considered teeth brushing time to be great fun, but, not so with Jake. Healthy Advantage has kibble that helps clean the teeth as they bite into the food but I wanted to do something else to supplement. It was about that time that we began carrying a product called Dental Care Additive. It is actually a seaweed derivative that you sprinkle on top of the food. Not only does it keep the teeth clean, but it freshens their breath. Sounded too good to be true! Well, after a year of use, I find Jakeâ€™s teeth to be cleaner than when I rescued him off the streets. It is easy and he doesnâ€™t seem to mind the taste of the additive on top of his dry food. For my little guy, the jar lasts me almost 9 months so it is also very cost effective.
So my New Year challenge to you as pet owners-what are you doing to help with oral hygiene for your pet? February is National pet Dental Month, but I say make it a New Year Resolution and get a jump start on the month.