Hard to believe, but even the healthiest dogs that I see in my practice succumb to this lurking disease. Top agility contenders, well known search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs and decorated conformation champions have this disease at the peak of their careers.
Even many third generation raw food litters show symptoms by 3 years of age.
What's the biggest disease culprit I see in most dogs, regardless of age, breed, sex and immune status?
Sounds silly? Your pet's oral health is nothing to laugh about. Dental decay is a significant risk to your pet's wellbeing.
If not addressed immediately and thoroughly, dental disease can strip your pets of not only their teeth, but their overall health, allowing billions of harmful bacteria to enter their bloodstream and affect multiple other organ systems.
Recognizing your pet needs dental care is the first step. But awareness is just the first step.
Let me explain what I mean…
I'm Sure You Take Your Dog's Status as a Family Member Seriously…
There's no doubt… you love your dog as a regular member of your family.
It's all in the family… and your dog is part of that family. Make quality health choices for them too, including good dental care.
And why wouldn't you?
Dogs offer companionship, unconditional love, loyalty, entertainment – and even a friendly ear to listen as you pour your heart out.
No wonder they're called our best friends.
And just like the other members of your family, you want to keep your dog as healthy and happy as possible so it will be around for a long, long time, right?
So to make sure your canine buddy's body stays strong, their eyes stay bright and clear, and their coat healthy and thick – you give them nutritious foods to eat, plenty of regular exercise, and lots of love.
But there's another area of your friend's health you may not have given much thought to – your dog's teeth.
What Would Happen to Your Health if You Didn't Brush YOUR Teeth
on a Regular Basis?
Let me be perfectly straightforward with you on this. As a veterinarian, I take a very proactive approach to helping you help your 'best friend' avoid serious health issues.
Wistfully yearning for a good tooth brushing… dogs depend on you to do that for them. Brush your dog's teeth today and every day.
By proactive, I mean I practice veterinarian medicine by identifying and removing lifestyle and health obstacles before serious issues occur with your pets.
This approach is counter to what many vets practice today – they take more of a reactive stance to your pet's serious health issues instead of a preventative one.
So, just like you wouldn't neglect your own teeth as part of your overall good health – you need to be more proactive with your dog's teeth. They need your attention now.
Their teeth are just as prone to plaque and tarter build-up as yours are, but you wouldn't skip brushing your teeth every day, or visiting your dentist for a regular exam and cleaning – would you?
I hope you wouldn't.
Well, the same logic applies to your dog too…
How to Tell if Your Dog Has a Serious Dental Health Problem
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), 80% of dogs show oral distress by age 3. It's one of the most common health issues treated in animal health clinics today.
And one of the most common signs of serious oral and dental issues is bad breath – or what's called halitosis.
I don't consider so called 'doggy breath' to be necessarily normal.
So, if your dog has bad breath, I would recommend a trip to your family veterinarian (preferably one who is proactive and practices holistic medicine) for a good oral exam.
It's best you don't put this off any longer as the bad breath could indicate both serious tooth and gum issues. Your 'best friend' could already be suffering without you even knowing it.
What YOU Can Start Doing Today to Take Better Care of Your Dog's Teeth
Remember, when food remains on your dog's teeth, it forms plaque. If not removed, plaque continuously builds on your pet's teeth and eventually hardens.
Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, NMD
Resident Veterinarian and Natural Pet Health Expert
I'm pleased to welcome Dr. Karen Becker, a leading natural pet health expert – and voted one of Chicago's Top 10 Vets by Chicago Magazine.
However in my book she is one of the top vets in the US. I have spoken with her for many hours and am convinced her knowledge base is incredible. She is always teaching me new and amazing principles.
Dr. Becker, a life-long lover of animals, began her career caring for animals at the tender age of 13 when she volunteered at her local humane society in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
It didn't take her long to realize she wanted to devote her life to the health and care of all animals – not only common house pets, but injured wildlife and exotic animals as well.
Beginning her formal education in 1989 with a degree in Wildlife and International Resource Management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1989, Dr. Becker went on to graduate from the Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 – completing an internship in exotic animal medicine.
Dr. Becker's interest in holistic treatment for animals started when she witnessed the amazing successes a Wisconsin wildlife rehabilitator had when treating wild animals with homeopathic remedies.
This experience prompted her to expand her education and her treatment base to include Veterinary Acupuncture and Homeopathy and complete her degree as a Naturopathic Medical Doctor in 2003.
Truly one of the country's most dedicated and passionate veterinarian experts on animal nutrition, health and wellness – Dr. Becker is a sought-after speaker at national conventions and seminars – as well as a featured guest on the popular TV show, "Animal Planet."
– Dr Mercola
This can result in serious tooth and gum issues for your dog.
That's why I recommend brushing your dog's teeth daily – just like you would your own teeth. It's the best way to ensure strong, healthy teeth.
If you have a puppy, incorporate good oral hygiene from day one. Incorporating gentle dental care (consider using a soft piece of gauze with a dot of dog toothpaste) consistently when your dog is young conditions your dog to this routine.
Here's a quick checklist to help you start taking better care of your dog's teeth:
- Have your dog's teeth checked and professionally cleaned at your family veterinarian – follow your vet's advice as far as cleaning regularity
- Start your dog off with as clean a mouth as possible prior to cleaning or brushing
- Pickup a soft-bristled tooth brush and toothpaste from your veterinarian – human toothpaste and baking soda may not be good for your dog
- Brush your dog's teeth on a daily basis – even with regular brushing, your dog may still need occasional professional cleaning
- In between brushing, find a healthy and tasty chew bone for your dog
Now, I know how fussy some dogs can be. It can seem like your impossible dream sometimes to brush their teeth. Some dogs just don't like it.
Your veterinarian can give you some advice on the best approach to brushing
But, despite your best efforts, your dog may continue to make brushing very challenging for you.
So, the next best thing?
Edible, dental chews.
They provide good mechanical abrasion as your dog grinds and chews them.
But, just like dry crackers won't clean your teeth, hard, dry dog bones won't get the plaque and tarter off your dog's teeth either – even if certain manufacturers advertise they will.
And, you need to…
BEWARE: Many Common Dental Chew Bones Are Hazardous for Your 'Best Friend'
Because you spend time at Mercola.com, I know you're seriously concerned about making the healthiest nutritional choices when it comes to your body.
Is Your Pet Food Really 100% Safe?
The year 2007 was a dark time for the pet food industry.
The largest pet food recall in history was at the forefront of the news. Why? Because thousands of cats and dogs were inexplicably falling ill and dying all across the U.S. from tainted pet food.
Hundreds of brands of pet foods were ripped from the shelves of grocery, pet, and department stores, prompting an epidemic of fear for pet owners.
The contaminant turned out to be high levels of melamine (a chemical typically used in plastics and fertilizers), in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China. The melamine had been purposefully added to the ingredients to falsely boost their protein content.
Further studies revealed a second unauthorized ingredient, cyanuric acid, which when combined with melamine, caused rapid kidney failure in both cats and dogs.
China first denied the claim but was later forced to admit its role in the deadly pet food.
With lax foreign standards, you can't afford to relax when it comes to pet food quality – you must stay vigilant, making sure all the ingredients in your pet's food and treats are safe and healthy.
Why then, wouldn't you have the same concern when it comes to the health of your dog?
Indulge me for a minute and let me ask you a crazy question – just to prove a point.
Would you purposely risk your dog's life simply because you were told you could easily clean their teeth and make their breath smell better by giving them a potentially toxic treat to chew on?
Of course you wouldn't…
And yet, what if I told you every time you give your dog some food or one of those high-tech dental chews for cleaning their teeth (without reading the list of ingredients on the package first), that's exactly what you might be doing – putting your dog's life at risk?
Just for fun – pick up a package of one of those popular 'green' dental chew bones for dogs and read the ingredients next time you're at the pet store.
Here are some of the not-so-natural ingredients you'll see listed:
- Gelatin: A potentially toxic animal by-product, created by boiling down various unused parts of animals such as skin, tendon, bone, cartilage and connective tissue.
- Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate (HSH): Low-carbohydrate artificial sweetener.
- Soy Protein Isolate: Known allergen, with reduced vitamin, mineral, and protein quality – and increased levels of potential carcinogens.
And that's just a tiny portion of a very long list of ingredients I believe simply don't belong in any kind of food for your 'best friend.'
Additionally, because these trendy dental chews are so tough and difficult to break down in your dog's mouth, your pet tends to swallow them almost whole – leading to a mass of undigested gunk potentially blocking their intestinal tract.
The chews simply can't be digested, and they could end up lodging in your dog's esophagus or intestines – remaining hard and solid for days.
If you make it to a veterinarian in time, immediate surgery might save your dog's life. But there are many documented reports of dogs not making it through bowel obstruction surgery – tragic, but true.
And that's why I decided to find an alternative to those high fashion and potentially risky dental chews.
But before I tell you about the exciting, healthy alternative I've discovered, let's talk for a moment about the special needs of puppies, senior dogs and dogs that have lost teeth.
The Unquenchable Need of Puppies to Chew
They like to chew – anything and everything!
And those new, razor-sharp teeth can shred toys, shoes, clothing, furniture, pillows and blankets almost faster than you or I can blink an eye.
Puppies chew for many different reasons, including…
- To play
- To ease teething discomfort
- To relieve stress, boredom, and loneliness
- To explore and interact with their "new" world
- To assert dominance in their environment
Teething, especially, is a time when your puppy has an intense need to chew. Just as a baby's gums become sore as teeth erupt, so do your puppy's during their first six months of life. Chewing on something soft, but firm, helps relieve pain and provides comfort.
But that's not all…
Now is the Time to Teach Positive Chewing Behaviors
Chewing is simply a normal part of normal puppy growth and development. It's up to you to shape your puppy's behavior by teaching them what's appropriate to chew – and what's not.
And when you start your puppy off right – that is, by providing an acceptable and enjoyable item to chew when they need and want it most – you help establish positive chewing behaviors for years to come.
What's the best chew that you can choose for your puppy?
Obviously, you can't watch over your puppy every minute of the day and night. So, you want to select a dental chew that is…
- Softer than our regular Dental Bones, specially made for tender gums
- Gentle enough to protect baby teeth
- Tasty to keep them interested
- Unbreakable or can't splinter and cause your puppy to choke
- Free from toxic and potentially unhealthy ingredients
Everything considered, you want a healthy dental chew that you know is safe.
When Your Senior Dog Begins to Lose Teeth
As your dog ages and begins to lose teeth, what do you do?
Your pet still has a need and desire to chew for many of the same reasons as do puppies. Stress… Boredom… Loneliness…
And healthy chewing to keep your pet's remaining teeth clean and gums stimulated is as crucial as ever.
Obviously, you want to select a dental chew that is gentle on sensitive gums and delicate teeth.
In many ways, an older dog's chewing needs aren't that different from a puppy's. And, just like with a puppy, you want to provide a dental chew that you know is completely safe.
For an older dog, sometimes certain ingredients, such as gluten, are not as well tolerated, so check label carefully before buying any product.
Why What's NOT in a Healthy Dog Chew is as Important for You to Know as the Nutrients it Does Contain!
I now can offer you a healthy alternative to the potentially toxic and non-digestible dental bones currently on the market.
Being selective about the quality of ingredients in dental chews is important for a dog of any age, but especially with puppies and older dogs. Some chews contain dangerous non-digestible ingredients.
Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones are as phenomenal for what they don't contain, as they are for what they do.
Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones do NOT contain:
- Wheat, gluten, soy, or corn
- Animal by-products like gelatin or animal glycerin
- Saturated fat or trans-fat
- Added sugar or salt
- Chemical preservatives, artificial colors or flavors
Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones is a completely digestible chew with healthy dietary fiber – good for your dog even when ingested. And chews are nearly always ingested, unless they're not used.
And best of all, Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones provide your dog with:
- Abrasives for cleaner teeth
- 100% non-synthetic nutrition – #1 ingredient is USDA certified organic rice
- Completely digestible chew with healthy amounts of dietary fiber
- Good amounts of iron and calcium
- A durable chew to have fun with
- Irresistible, chicken flavor
- Fresher breath
And Mercola Healthy Pets Gentle Dental Bones contain the added goodness of cinnamon, traditionally used for toothache and bad breath. Regular use of cinnamon may also help promote normal digestive function.
If you decide to look for a healthy dog chew in your local pet store or online, make sure it stacks up as well as this one. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and your puppy or dog's health.
Make no bones about it, you need to take a proactive approach and immediately help your puppy or dog improve his or her dental health.
And Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones can play a key role in doing just that.
And here are…
My Top Reason's Why You'll Love 'Em, Too
Get complete peace of mind using Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones. But please remember to brush your dog's teeth too.
And I don't mean as an alternative to your dog's toothbrush!
You'll love keeping Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones on hand for your 'best friend' because:
- Each bone comes filled with healthy nutrition to help your puppy or dog be around to offer you love and companionship for a long time to come.
- Your puppy's or dog's strong, white, and healthy teeth will be the envy of all the other dogs (and their owners) at your local dog park.
- You won't have to worry one bit that you're putting your pal's health at risk with any unsafe or potentially deadly ingredients.
- You'll feel peace-of-mind knowing you're doing everything possible so your puppy or dog won't suffer from painful dental issues.
- You'll get lots of wet, sloppy kisses every time you give your puppy or dog their favorite healthy chew.
And another important fact that further convinced me to offer Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones is the manufacturer publishes extensive details on the product's nutritional profile.
There is not any official requirement to do this. But it shows me and you they have nothing to hide when it comes to the healthy ingredients found in Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones.
I can tell you from my experience this is not the case with many of the dog chews available today.
Your 'Best Friends' Will Literally Beg to Get Their Teeth on this Chew – Guaranteed or Your Money Back
(see details below)!
Mercola Healthy Pets Dog and Gentle Dental Bones are available in two varieties, depending on the stature and age of your dog. Order some for your puppy or dog today.
That's no joke.
But let me tell you what I want to offer you.
Not all dogs come in one size, so it only makes sense Mercola Healthy Pets Dog Dental Bones don't come in one size either – they come in two.
- Large Size (2.23 oz./63.4g) for dogs 25 pounds and over.
- Small Size (0.81 oz./22.9g) for dogs from 5 to 25 pounds.
And for puppies, senior dogs and dogs with delicate or missing teeth, Mercola Healthy Pets Gentle Dental Bones (1.43 oz./40.54 g) come in two sizes.
- Large Size (1.43 oz/40.54g) for adult dogs or puppies 15 pounds and over.
- Small Size (0.81 oz/22.9g) for adult dogs 5-25 pounds or puppies up to 15 pounds.
To make it more economical and convenient for you, we're packaging your dental bones in a handy 12-bone pack – all individually wrapped to retain freshness and for your convenience.
To break it down:
One box of 12 Large Size Mercola Healthy Pets Dog Dental Bones sells for only $22.97, bringing your investment to a mere ($1.91 per bone).
One box of 12 Small Size Mercola Healthy Pets Dog Dental Bones sells for only $14.97, an investment of just ($1.25 per bone).
One box of 12 Large Size Mercola Healthy Pets Gentle Dental Bones sells for only $21.97, an investment of just ($1.83 per bone).
One box of 12 Small Size Mercola Healthy Pets Gentle Dental Bones sells for only $18.97, an investment of just ($1.58 per bone).
So you can easily see, your pooch – young or old – stands to gain great teeth and a healthy treat for just pennies per bone.