Dogs have long been considered a close companion and pet parents pamper pets with people’s food, thus the incidence of disease of oral cavity. Here’s how to maintain oral hygiene in pets.
Dogs are basically carnivorous animals. However, due to affection and blind love for pets, most of the pet parents offer them ice-creams,biscuits, home-made and commercially available sweets and thus they have made their pets adapt to human food habits. This has resulted in the emergence of a number of oral and systemic diseases and disorders. Thus, every responsible pet parent should understand that oral care is a necessity for their canine companion as it is often their ignorance towards oral hygiene of their dog which leads to oral and dental problems.
It is the first responsibility of the veterinarian to educate and make the pet parent aware of the importance of oral and dental hygiene of their pet. Many conditions cause discomfort and some diseases cause intense pain. Detection of pathology is often late in these diseases since our pets cannot express and describe the sensations of discomfort and/or pain associated with these conditions. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that a focus of infection in the oral cavity may lead to systemic problems. Thus prevention and treatment of oral diseases becomes important for the general health and welfare of our pets.
Eating habits of the pets do affect their oral health
- Several findings have shown that dogs taking vegetarian home-cooked food had highest prevalence than mixed diet of commercial and homemade.
- Dogs taking non-vegetarian food and those eating commercial pet food along with non-veg showed relatively less incidence.
- The homemade food mostly consists of milk, bread, roti, rice and dal, along with vegetable or fruits and minced meat without bones. The soft diet potentiates tartar formation than hard food.
- Dog is basically a carnivorous animal and has habit of chewing bones. This chewing of bone produces large quantity of saliva, which have antiseptic action in prevention of plaque formation through neutralisation of acids produced during mastication of food. Thus it was inferred that the raw vegetable straps, chew bones, etc are of prime importance in preventing periodontal diseases.
- It is highly recommended to feed large pieces of raw vegetable like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli or lightly cooked tough fibrous meat containing bovine trachea, diaphragm or heat at least twice a week so as to wipe off the plaque.
- Daily effective tooth brushing with pet paste and tooth brush helps.
- Feeding commercial pet food and dental chews keep various dental problems at bay.
Some common systemic diseases that affect a number of organs and tissues or whole body are chronic fatigue syndrome, systemic vasculitis, sarcoidosis, diabetes mellitus, ulcerative colitis, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
We are saddened to inform the sudden demise of Dr Rutuja Bansod of Abhis Pet Clinic, Nagpur. Our condolences go to her family and friends. May God rest her soul in peace!