Canine Chewing Solutions

Ask Dr. Carol, Behavioral Problems, Dental Care, Dogs, Pet Nutrition, Puppy 3 Comments »

Making sure that your puppy starts life out on the right paw from day one helps prevent canine behavioral problems from developing later in life.

Puppies get new teeth until they are six months old.  From four to six months of age puppy teething is a primary concern.

That’s important to understand because when puppies teeth, their gums are sore and chewing makes their gums feel better.  Later on, dogs chew because it’s fun.  Occasionally dogs chew to relieve anxiety (canine separation anxiety) or boredom.  The most common medical cause of chewing in older dogs is gum disease, which is called canine gingivitis.


One puppy chewing solution is to provide age appropriate dog toys to chew.  Several pet products are available commercially, including safe edible dog bones and canine cotton “flossing” knots.  You can also make pet chew toys as a family project. For example frozen washcloths, frozen green beans, kool-aid cubes, and fruit squares are fun activities for kids and parents and dogs love’em!
Avoid rawhide pet toys, most are soaked in formaldehyde, which is carcinogenic, (cancer causing potential) and avoid all real meat bones because they can splinter into sharp pieces which can damage your puppies stomach and intestines.
Don’t give your puppy your old shoes to chew on.  Puppies don’t know the difference between old shoes and new shoes and most people don’t appreciate their new shoes being chewed up.

Older dogs that chew excessively may have a medical and/or a behavioral problem.  First check with your vet:  have a complete physical and dental examination.  Eighty-five percent of dogs over three years old have gum disease, which is painful and is also a leading cause of canine heart disease.  A professional dog dental cleaning generally solves the problem.

TIP: Get your new puppy out into the world and introduce him or her to as many new sights, sounds, smells and tastes as you can.  Take your puppy out  for a brisk walk before you leave him alone at home.  Chances are your puppy will be inclined to relax and take a nap while your gone and leave your house intact.

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Dental Health Care Tips for Pets

Ask Dr. Carol, Cats, Dental Care, Dogs, The Head No Comments »


Chagrin Falls, Ohio- February 6, 2009- Our pets can enjoy the benefits of good dental health through routine brushing and visits to the veterinary dentist. Like us, pets suffer from gingivitis, loose teeth and other oral problems. Unlike us though, a lack of dental care in our pets could easily become a life or death situation!

Over 80% of pets older than three years develop some form of dental disease. Sadly, a good percentage of these pets will go on to acquire more serious illnesses, like heart problems or bone infections that shorten their lives. Others end up in animal shelters for the fact that, unknown to the owners, the pain of dental disease can cause aggressive behavior. These animals are often considered unadoptable and ultimately euthanized.

Dental X-ray

Fortunately, there is good news! Veterinary dentists are available with the needed expertise and advanced equipment to help many pets who might otherwise lead a much shortened life. Digital x-rays, root canals, and even oral surgery are now accessible across the country. The work of these pet dentists is saving lives and lessening pain in millions of our four-legged family members. Shelter employees might now have an answer to a dog’s aggressive behavior and some euthanasias could even be avoided.

But what’s even better is that proactive pet owners are helping to reduce the possibility that their pets will ever need the services of a veterinary dentist. By discussing proper at home dental care with their family veterinarian, owners are now using a combination of brushing, dental diets, and even chew toys and treats to keep their pets’ smiles as healthy as possible. A barrier sealant for pets is available to help discourage the development of plaque and it only takes about a minute every week to apply!

To learn more about exciting new advances in pet dental health care, visit for more information. Veterinarian and author, Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM is available for pet health questions and consultations for dogs and cats Toll Free at 1-866-372-2765.


Ask Dr. Carol, Cats, Dental Care, Dogs, The Head, The Head No Comments »

Cleaning your pet’s teeth is a great way to save yourself from smelling horrendous pet breath. But, dental cleanings also save some pets from serious heart disease and occasionally, you might hear how dental procedures saved a pet’s life!

Dental Surgery

Smokey did not feel well. The young Golden Retriever mix missed her family and was completely confused by her surroundings. Smokey had never been confined in a cage, nor had she ever been somewhere with such strange smells and noisy neighbors. On top of everything, her mouth hurt terribly!

At this city shelter, the staff realized Smokey’s attitude was not normal for her breed. Investigating, they found the crowns of her four canine teeth had been literally cut off at the gum line! Known as crown amputation, some people have used this practice as a means to disarm a dog’s primary defense mechanism of biting. Without large canine teeth, the severity of bite wounds is supposedly reduced. But, the use of bolt cutters or wire snips to cut the teeth at the gum line and the lack of anesthetics or sterile technique often leads to major complications. Veterinary organizations, including the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) have expressed serious concern with this painful practice.

These dogs are so painful and prone to nipping (as a compensation mechanism) that shelters will often euthanize these dogs without seeking medical care. For Smokey, her condition became a life or death situation!

Fortunately, a Golden Retriever Rescue heard of Smokey’s plight and sought to find a solution that would not only save her life, but free her from pain as well.

Dental X-ray

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