Australia, September 2014
Dental disease is one of the most common reasons that your dog or cat may require costly surgical and medical treatment. Recent statistics in Australia have shown that 60 percent of pets over the age of three have some degree of dental disease that will require costly veterinary attention – and generally under general anaesthetic.
The increased popularity of carbohydrate-rich processed pet foods – in place of a balanced fresh meat diet supplemented with bones – can result in the accumulation of significant levels of plaque on the surface of our pets' teeth, which in turn calcifies to become tartar.
The tartar contains literally billions of bacterial colonies that invade the gums causing painful gingivitis, and ultimately erodes the tooth root attachment, resulting in damage and tooth loss. Rotten teeth and gums are a modern disease caused by inappropriate diets, and the flow-on effects include pain, infection, immune suppression, kidney, liver and heart disease, just to name a few.
So what can you do to help reduce the risk of dental disease in your dog or cat? Here are my three top tips for a natural approach to dental health that can maintain your pet’s teeth for a lifetime and potentially avoid many expensive dental bills.
1. Feed a balanced fresh meat diet
Many pet owners mistakenly believe that feeding dry food actually prevents dental disease, but the truth is quite the opposite. Are your teeth clean after eating a biscuit! A natural, raw food diet based on fresh meat and raw bones, will naturally maintain your pets’ teeth and gums by creating correctly balanced saliva and an oral environment that naturally cleans and helps to prevent plaque formation.
2. Bones are nature’s toothbrush
Raw bones play an integral role in dental hygiene for dogs and cats. The process of macerating the meat and bones actually massages the animal’s teeth and gums, cleaning away any food residues or tartar development. This prevents plaque formation, bad breath, dental cavities, gingivitis, and expensive veterinary teeth scaling and extractions.
A good supply of calcium and other nutrients during the early growth stages of puppies and kittens will also help to ensure strong healthy teeth.
Feeding a raw food diet ensures natural normal acidity levels in the gut that naturally breaks down bones. A balanced fresh meat diet creates the right acidity levels in the gut to help pets digest bones, where many on-the-shelf products don't.
3. Check your pet’s mouth on a regular basisGently lift the flaps of your dog or cat’s gums and have a quick look at the teeth you can see there - pay attention to the colour of the gums, any developing ‘lumps’, signs of broken/chipped teeth and areas that seem/look painful. Also ask your vet to perform an oral exam during regular checkups so they can alert you to any existing or potential problems.
Product of the Week - Vet’s All Natural Health Rolls
HealthRolls are formulated using high quality, natural ingredients with no preservatives, fillers or expanders, just a natural balance of muscle and organ meats and key ingredients from Dr Bruce’s Complete Mix.
VAN Health Rolls combined with 2 or 3 raw bones each week provide a naturally balanced diet for your pet and we're also seeing many dry food feeders adding Health Rolls to their pets' daily meals.
Available in dog, puppy, weight loss, sensitive skin, joint health and cat/kitten varieties.
Dog Diary/Cat Calendar
Wednesday, September 3, 6.30-8.30pm
Still a few places available in my FREE 'Small Animal Nutrition & Health' seminar at Gotafe in Wangaratta this Wednesday. I'll be looking at all aspects of nutrition for small animals and talking through common health problems - including skin, joint, and digestive issues - that are related to nutrition. If you're an animal lover, or a pet owner or carer, this seminar is for you. Call Meagan on 0400 225 652 or email her on
firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
The Pet Grocer - South Melbourne Market
Saturday, September 13, 10am-12pm
Meagan will be at The Pet Grocer’s Dogs of the World Morning Tea providing pet health and nutritional advice for vistors.
Packenham Produce Pet Expo
Saturday, October 4
Meagan will give a pet nutrition talk and distribute some VAN samples. There will also be a VAN prize hamper to be won.
Testimonial of the Week - Vanessa Allen
“My foster kittens have taken to the health roll amazingly well.
"They rush to me to eat their dinner now.”
If you have any question or comments I’d be pleased to assist via my Facebook Page or via Nutrition Questions
Dr Bruce Syme
Dr Bruce Syme is a practicing vet and animal lover who founded Vets All Natural 20 years ago with a simple mission, to “Improve the health and longevity of dogs and cats”. Dr Bruce is an expert in natural pet nutrition, has spoken at the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, and provides regular comment on TV and Radio. Click here to read Dr Bruce’s Articles