It's widely accepted that dogs require many of the same things as their human counterparts, when it comes to staying healthy and living a full life. From a safe and loving home, to a healthy diet and active lifestyle, it's crucial that we monitor several key elements of a dog's health and hygiene; especially as they age. For example, when we take Nora to the groomer they always ask if we'd like to have her teeth brushed as part of her grooming package. And for over 95% of the canine pet population that may be the only time, if at all, during the year a dog's teeth is brushed. Even more staggering is the knowledge that the best dental hygiene plan for a canine often includes brushing with a pet-safe enzymatic toothpaste, every day. While the momentary escape to a vision of your pup brushing their teeth at the bathroom sink might solicit a chuckle, there really is little to laugh about.
Not to mention to thought of kissing someone who hasn't brushed their teeth in over a year (or maybe their entire life?) might put a damper on those sloppy puppy kisses!
However, proper dental hygiene in dogs is not just about bad breath- plaque and bacteria buildup (often evident by poor breath in your pup) can result in loose and rotting teeth, infected gums, and even life-threatening health issues. Some breeds of dogs are notorious for being more at risk than others, and small breeds often top the list, while larger breeds can experience broken or cracked teeth. That's why we have Nora's teeth professionally cleaned, at our veterinary office, about every other year- or when it becomes a concern. In addition, we brush her teeth during every bath (it's not the suggested every day, but we work on it,) watch her diet, provide her with plenty of healthy chewing toys, and have recently started a new water additive which will help break down biofilm, where harmful bacteria multiples in the mouth.
D.I.Y Homemade Chew Toy
1 Appropriately Sized Dog 'Tennis' Ball
1 Scrap Fabric Square (Approximately Equal To 15x The Ball Width, In Length)
1. Place the ball in the center of your fabric. Measure 1/3 up from the bottom, and 1/3 in from the right, and cut an even square of fabric from the corner. Measure 1/3 down from the top, and 1/3 in from the right and cut an even square of fabric from the corner. Repeat on the left side until you are left with a 'cross' of fabric.
2. Cut a small 1/2" slit in the center of the left strip, just where your cuts end, as to create a buttonhole. Repeat with the bottom strip.
3. Pull the top strip through the slit in the bottom strip and tie a knot. Pull the right strip through the left strip and tie a knot.
4. Cut each strip into 3 even strips to about 1/4" from the knot base. Braid each corner to desired length and tie in a knot to fix.
5. Toss around or indulge in a good old-fashioned game of tug-of-war!
bluestem™ with coactiv+™'s water additive formulas are also safe for use with cats. Bonus! Truffles enjoys the benefits in her bowl as well! The Vanilla Mint formulation should only be used with dogs, and is not approved for use with cats.
bluestem™ and I honestly can't determine whether she has a preference for chicken flavored or vanilla mint more. Since we use the oral spray in Vanilla Mint, and the Original and Chicken Flavor formulations are cat safe, I think we'll be buying more of those from now on.
What can you expect to notice in just 30 days using bluestem™ with coactiv+™' water additives in your dog's water? An independent study showed that dogs using bluestem™ regularly had up to a 25.4% reduction in tartar, even experiencing visibly cleaner teeth! Where we've noticed the difference? Nora still has 'breath' after all, her mouth is still a mouth, but her breath is more like one would expect a human to experience throughout the day, and far from the repelling 'doggy breath' we're used to around here. Let's just say I no longer cringe when Jay lets her lick his face endlessly with 'kisses'.
bluestem™ products are an alcohol, xylitol, and chlorhexidine free, and a potentially delicious way to help support your dog's good oral hygiene routine. Their products are currently sold at a variety of specialty stores and boutiques nationwide, or online through their website. Learn more about the products and availability, and take the 30 day challenge to see results for yourself! Now, be honest, what do you do to help maintain your pet's oral care?
Enjoy 20% off your order with bluestem™ in September (2016) when you use promo code: TRYBLUESTEM
What Daughter Says: Don't fear puppy kisses, take some simple steps to fight doggy breath and help improve your dog's oral hygiene today.
Mint Parsley Pup Treats
***Click here for printable recipe
10oz Unsweetened Plain Yogurt
Hand-full of Fresh Parsley Leaves
Hand-full of Fresh Mint Leaves
2 Drops Peppermint Oil (Not Extract)
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Pour into a silicone mold or ice cube tray until each cavity is 3/4 full. Freeze 2-3 hours. Serve direct from the freezer in a food bowl.