Dastardly Doggy Breath ☆

Logo 2There’s nothing worse than bending down for doggie kisses and instead getting a faceful of stinky breath! What ever happened to that sweet clean breath and those pearly white teeth?  That nasty smell can be an indicator of an underlying health problem,  loose teeth or the build up of plaque and tarter.   There are some common misconceptions as to what causes poor dental health and also about how to maintain good dental health.

Domesticated dogs have a much different lifestyle and diet than their wild ancestors. Our dogs of today are usually fed diets that contain grains and starches.  These components alone have the potential to cause dental disease.  Grains and the gluten they contain coat the teeth with the building blocks of plaque.  As more of these grains and starches are ingested, more plaque and tarter form.  Bacteria also thrive in the environment created by these dietary inclusions.  One of the common misconceptions dog owners have is that dry kibble diets and biscuits given as treats will help to remove these deposits.  This can’t be further from the truth!  If grains and starched removed plaque and tarter, we would be brushing our teeth with crackers!

When fed a species appropriate diet, like raw meat diets, the enzymes in the mouth change into an environment that does not support the buildup or the bacteria.  Also, when dogs are given the opportunity to chew on harder bones such as femur bones, the edges of the bone rub against the surface of the tooth to remove any buildup.  Bones are nature’s toothbrushes!  If you have a dog that doesn’t like to chew hard bones, there are other alternatives too.  Brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis will also help to keep his mouth healthy.
If your dog won’t tolerate brushing, there are now natural dental sprays that will do the job for you.  The sprays also kill any bacteria that would cause gingivitis.  Another alternative is a kelp based food additive that changes the enzymes in the mouth to help prevent the buildup and the bacterial growth.

Since there are many ways to keep that “doggy breath” under control, there is no reason not to get down and let the kissing begin!!

 

Until next time my Furry Followers!

 

 

Hacking up Hairballs ☆

 

Logo 2One of the most common complaints I hear from cat owners is that their cat is constantly throwing up.  It is so common that  ” hacking up a hairball”  has become a known euphemism.  There are many reasons why some cats vomit on a regular basis.

There are some medical conditions that cause nausea and vomiting.  Kidney disease is one of them.  If the cat is starting to have a decline in kidney function,  one of the signs is anorexia and vomiting.  If these symptoms have been observed for more than a couple of days a veterinary visit is definitely advised.

Another medical cause for frequent vomiting is sometimes cancer.  This is usually accompanied by anorexia, weight loss and lethargy.  If these symptoms are observed for more than a couple of days, this too would warrant a veterinary visit.  These are, of course, extreme accounts and typically not the cat throwing upnorm.

In my experience, the most likely reason for most cats is the diet they are being fed.  Most cat owners feed their cats a dry kibbled diet that is left out in the bowl so the cat can pick on it all day.  Since cats are obligate carnivores, they have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates.  When cats are fed a diet consisting of a high carbohydrate level, which are also typically high in “filler” ingredients, their bodies reject the food because they do not produce the enzymes necessary to digest that type of product.  Another problem with dry kibbled foods is the lack of moisture in them.  Cats need moisture in their food to help them to properly digest it.  Indoor cats that spend a lot of time grooming also have the tendency to throw up, especially when they are fed too many carbohydrates.  The carbohydrates alkalize the stomach acid which, in turn, helps to create hairballs.  Cats that are fed an all meat diet have stomach acid that is corrosive enough to break down the hair before it gets into the small intestine, thereby, preventing hairballs.

If any cat parent wants to alleviate the problem of their cat constantly throwing up, the simple solution is to change the cat’s diet to, ideally, a raw food diet. 33697_1653600382150_3474380_n If there is a reason a raw food diet is not appropriate, a dehydrated (but rehydrated) or grain free canned food is the next best choice.  By feeding a diet that most closely resembles the food a cat has evolved to eat,  you will eliminate the problem of your cat “hacking up a hairball”!

Until next time my faithful furry follower!

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