Food can help prevent or slow down dental problems.

Food can help prevent or slow down dental problems.

Many times we don’t even think about foods affecting our pets dental health.  You go to the store, buy a good brand of food and that’s that.  It is finally coming to light with doctors and veterinarians, that food can heal not just hinder health.  So many times, we are bad-mouthing food for causing all our pets ailments.  The food had too many preservatives, the food had too much fat, the canned food didn’t knock the plaque and tarter off my pets teeth, so that’s why they have dental problems, or the food was too acidic.  The bottom line is we are too quick to blame “the food” or “the diet.”  So today let’s focus on foods or more specifically nutrients in food that can help to prevent or slow down dental disease in your pets.

  1. Vitamin C
    • Has antioxidants that bring down inflammation
    • Vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C
    • It is a water soluble vitamin, meaning it is washed out of the body daily.  It must be given daily to replenish.
    • Spinach, Broccoli, Strawberries and pineapple are ones your dogs will eat.
  1. Vitamin A
    1. Has antioxidants that bring down inflammation
    2. Helps keep infection risk low and helps with healthy gums
    3. It is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it stays in the body several days, so your pet doesn’t have to have a source of vitamin A daily.
    4. Carrots, eggs, liver, meats and fish oil all contain vitamin A
  2. Folic Acid
    1. Helps with gingivitis 
    2. Spinach, watercress and liver are all  good sources of Folic Acid
    3. It is a water soluble nutrient, so it must be given daily.
  3. Coenzyme q 10
    1. Helps with inflamed bleeding gums
    2. This is produced naturally by your dog, but may not be enough under severe dental disease.
    3. The easiest way to get Coq10 is giving fish oil.  It can be put on their hard kibble
  4. Fish Oil
    1. Helps with gum disease
    2. These contain omega 3 fatty acids.
    3. Flax seed oil, Hemp oil, coconut oil, cold water fish such as salmon, herring, halibut, and mackerel
  5. Calcium
    1. Just like people, if dogs don’t get enough calicum, their bodies start robbing the teeth of calcium, which in turn will cause weakened teeth and loose teeth.
    2. Pregnancy is a time of extra needs and is when this is most likely to happen.   So if your dog is expecting, make sure you are supplementing.

Our saliva is acidic, but dogs mouths are neutral or alkaline.  Unfortunately, that means the plaque and tarter buildup faster on their teeth.  As you might deduce, the more acidic the environment, the harder it is for bacteria to grow and damage teeth and gums.

The plaque and tarter have bacteria that live inside them.  This bacteria goes to the gums, which then gets into the bloodstream and then on to the organs.  It is easy to forget that bacterial infections can cause people and pets to go septic and die very quickly when it gets in the blood stream which goes to our major organ and blood pumper: the heart!  In the past 20 years, we have learned that proper dental care can prevent heart problems.  It is the same with our pet.

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