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Did you know?

According to Dogs First, a staggering 80% of dogs over the age of 3 will suffer from Periodontal disease more commonly known as gum disease. What’s worst is that this shocking statistic is one that can often be prevented or better still avoided completely. 

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition of the gum and bone support (periodontal tissues) surrounding the teeth and affects dogs in a similar way to humans. Gum disease occurs when saliva, food and fluids combine in a dog’s mouth, helping to create the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow. This bacteria forms plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky, invisible layer of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on your dog’s teeth. It is the main cause of cavities and gum disease, and can harden into tartar if not removed daily. Tartar is an accumulation of plaque and minerals from your dog’s saliva that harden. Tartar can coat the exterior of teeth and invade below the gumline causing swelling, bleeding and infections leading to a host of painful problems for your canine. 

Why do dogs get gum disease? 

Gum disease is mainly caused a result of poor nutritional food choices, dogs consuming a diet of high sugary processed foods and poor oral maintenance. Unfortunately many oral support products available today are marketed as dental sticks or dental aids claiming to help clean your dogs teeth while chewing can actually have the adverse effect. This is because these heavily processed foods are often coated in sugar, one of the key ingredients and cause of gum disease.  

Does my dog have gum disease?

The best way of inspecting your dogs oral health is by taking them to your vet for a full check-up but pet parents can also regularly inspect your dogs oral health detecting early signs of gum disease. By checking if there is blood on your canines toys, does your dog experience difficulty eating or chewing, do they suffer from bad breath or are they regularly dropping their food? Other tell-tale signs that your canine may have gum disease is if there gums are red, inflamed or bleeding. If tartar (visible yellow layer on your dog’s teeth) is present then there could be a more serious issue. Tartar attacks your dog’s gum line causing swelling, bleeding and infections this can make your dog very ill and cause pain while trying to eat. If pet parents notice tartar on their dogs teeth they should consult with their local vet immediately.

What to do?

One of the most effective solutions for removing plaque is to regularly brush your canines’ teeth using formulated doggy toothpaste. Another solution is introducing rough textured natural foods (bones, dried fish, meat etc.) that are free from sugar which can also help break down plaque and tartar while chewing. FishDish natural sugar free products are excellent for oral hygiene and health. FishDish gently dry our fish to remove excess moisture keeping all the intrinsic nutritional properties, resulting in a nutritiously delicious treat. The crunchy texture of our snacks are fantastic at breaking down excess plaque and tartar, helping to clean and polish your dog’s teeth while they chew on these nutritionally delicious fish snacks.