Does Your Canned Food Hold “Water” ? Yes It Does…

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s session is about Canned dog food and how you can compare it to Dry dog food. We have guest writer Mark Whitney, Certified Canine Nutritionist and head of West Chester Canine Nutrition. Mark brings his 25 years of experience to Daisy’s Rescue to help shed some light on nutrition for your dog.

Does Your Canned Food Hold “Water”? Yes It Does…

I get this one often “My Vet wants me to put my dog on canned food because my dog has blah, blah, blah and he/she instructed me to buy canned food because it’s a LOW protein and/or LOW fat and that will help with my problem”  Unfortunately (and a little frightening…) this is untrue!!! I always like to assume they heard their Vet incorrectly…(it helps me sleep at night). At first glance that statement may seem to hold “water”…but therein lies the problem. All canned foods contain anywhere from 70% to 85% water which is an important factor when reading the nutrient level and how your dogs body handles and breaks down those nutrients.

That’s because pet food companies report the nutrient content of their products using something known as
Guaranteed Analysis. The Guaranteed Analysis is the dog food industry’s version of the Nutrition Facts panel printed on every package of human food sold in North America.
According to AAFCO rules, the guaranteed analysis must consist of the following:

  •  Minimum Percentage of Protein
  •  Minimum Percentage of Fat
  •  Maximum Percentage of Fiber
  •  Maximum Percentage of Moisture

But when using this method can be misleading.
That’s because the system used for reporting the percentages fails to consider water content
Even the Food and Drug Administration admits to the importance of this problem on its own website…Interpreting Pet Food Labels FDA

“To make meaningful comparisons of nutrient levels between a canned and dry product, they should be expressed on the same moisture basis.”

Let’s me show you how you can choose a better option for your dog.

How to Calculate Dry Matter Basis

The formula is quite simple.

Percentage of Guaranteed Analysis Component Divided by Percentage of Dry Matter
Multiplied by 100

Assuming a can of dog food contains:

  •  9% protein
  •  4% fat
  •  1% fiber
  •  81% moisture

At first glance, 9% protein looks on the very low side compared to dry dog food. Now watch this number after we convert it.
1.  Calculate the dry matter of the canned food by deducting the moisture
percentage (81%) from 100.   i.e. 100 – 81 = 19% or .19
2.  Now, using this dry matter figure of .19 apply the formula to each of
the components, as follows:
Protein: 9 divided by .19= 47.4%
Fat: 4 divided by .19= 21%
Fiber: 1 divided by .19= 5.3%
Notice the protein percentage now. Not really a LOW Protein and/or LOW Fat that you may have been looking for huh? You will find in many cases, canned dog food values tend to exceed that of dry dog food.

At first glance the dry kibble looks to be higher protein and fat compared to its canned counterpart. Take a look at the protein values after converting the data to dry matter basis…
pastedGraphic.pdf
Can you see how the canned product now lists 40% protein, compared to kibble’s 26% figure?
If you had simply followed your vets suggestion and chose the canned food because of its lower protein and lower fat content, you’d have been wrong.
The wet food actually contains much more protein and fat (on a dry matter basis) than does the kibble.

The Bottom Line

Don’t be fooled by a dog food label’s protein or fat numbers. And remember, numbers are just numbers. They can’t reveal the true quality (or the digestibility) of the product’s proteins or fats.
Be sure to take the time to look over the ingredients list. Your dog will surely be better off for your effort.

Thank you Mark. Hopfully this sesion has given you some insight on how to buy the best dog food for your dog. Mark can be contacted at info@dubcpet.com or you can call 610-314-6124. Mark’s company is West Chester Canine Nutrition.

Don’t forget to like Daisy’s Rescue Face Book Page .   facebook.com/daisysrescue

 

How To Choose The Right Food For Your Dog

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s session is about Dog Food. We have Mark Whitney a certified canine nutritionist, who is going to share his nowledge of dog food and explain how to pick the right food for your dog. Mark heads West Chester Canine Nutrition. Using his 25 years of experience, Mark helps his clients provide the best food for the needs of their dogs.

How To Choose the Right Food For Your Dog

Ask ten people what the best thing to feed your dog is and you’ll probably get ten different answers. I must get this question a hundred times a week “What is the best dog food I can buy” Some people believe that dogs are dogs and eating the $20 for 40 lb bag of dog food from the discount store is perfectly fine. Others argue that if you are not feeding your dog raw food your dogs gonna die a long painful death..

The truth is somewhere in between. Your approach to finding the best dog food for your dog is to be as educated as possible and that means reading what is listed in the ingredients on the back of
the bag, rather than paying attention to the marketing that went into the front of the bag. Here are some steps that may help.

  1. Locate the first source of fat in the ingredient list (chicken fat, salmon oil, etc. the phrase “preserved with mixed tocopherols” usually follows it ). Everything that is listed prior to the first source of fat, including that fat, make up the majority of the dog food. Food A is clearrly the winner here.. Note that the examples are for traditional foods, Limited Ingredient / Allergy Foods are critiqued differently.
    1. ex. Food AFresh deboned wild boar*, fresh deboned lamb*, fresh beef liver*, fresh deboned pork*, lamb meal, peas, salmon meal, russet potato, herring meal, fresh whole eggs*, fresh deboned bison*, potato starch, fresh deboned salmon*, pacific whitefish meal, fresh deboned walleye*, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols) = 80% Meat
    2. ex. Food B –  Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, peas, potatoes, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) = 20%-30% Meat
  2. When choosing a dog food, it makes good sense to favor products lower in carbohydrates (in my opinion, under 40%). Do you know how many carbs your dog should have on a daily basis to sustain life? Go ahead…Guess!! Zero!!! That’s right Zero, that’s how many carbohydrates are required by a dog to sustain life. According to the National Research Council and compared to the other two major nutrients — protein and fat — no carbs are considered essential for a healthy canine diet. Don’t get me wrong…carbohydrates aren’t bad for dogs in reasonable amounts…The problem lies in their quantity. The list of problems that to many carbs can cause for your dog is worthy of another blog. How to calculate carbs in your dogs food:

1. Here is a typical adult dry food

Minimum percentage of crude protein 26%
Minimum percentage of crude fat 15%
Maximum percentage of crude fiber 4% (Fiber is a carb..so you don’t need to subtract it out)

Maximum percentage of moisture 10%

Take 100% protein% fat% moisture% ash% (usually not listed, I avg. 8%) = Carbohydrate Using the Guaranteed analysis example above: 

Carbohydrate = 100% 26% protein 15% Fat 10% moisture 8% ash = 43% carbohydrate.

Basically that means 43% of that bag is sugar!!

2. Here is another adult dry food

Minimum percentage of crude protein 38%
Minimum percentage of crude fat 18%
Maximum percentage of crude fiber 3% (Fiber is a carb..so you don’t need to subtract it out)
Maximum percentage of moisture 10%

Take 100% protein% fat% moisture% ash% (usually not listed, I avg. 8%) = Carbohydrate Using the Guaranteed analysis example above: 

Carbohydrate = 100% 38% protein 18% Fat 10% moisture 8% ash = 26% carbohydrate.

That means 26% of that bag is sugar!!

3. A list of some ingredients to AVOID!!!

Unnamed Meat and Meat Bone Meal, Meat By-Products, Poultry By-Products, Unnamed Fish Meal, Beef Tallow, Corn or Wheat Gluten Meal, Brewers Rice, Soybean Meal, BHA, Ethoxyquin,

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Salt

With these steps you are off to a good start at making a better choice for your dog. Do not rely on anyone’s information without doing your own research including consultation with a trusted veterinarian. (although when speaking to a veterinarian about nutrition this is the response I got “I am a veterinarian and I tell folks to feed any commercial diet they like. I don’t think there is a “bad” dog food on the market, though I do think that some are better than others. In general you get what you pay for, especially if you are sticking with the mainstream brands. In terms of bang-for-the-buck the Costco Kirkland brands are actually pretty impressive.”) scary huh!?!?  So be an educated consumer and a rabid advocate for your dog’s health.

 

Footnote

  1. National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats”, 2006 Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC

 

Thank you Mark. Hopfully this sesion has given you some insight on how to buy the best dog food for your dog. Mark can be contacted at info@dubcpet.com or you can call 610-314-6124. Mark’s company is West Chester Canine Nutrition.

Don’t forget to like Daisy’s Rescue Face Book Page .   facebook.com/Daisysrescue

I Have an APP. For That!

Welcome back to Daisy’s Rescue.  We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of their dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s article is about taking care of your dog and having a few tools to help you. Dogs much like people benefit from yearly medical check ups. In today’s world of information over load and instant access to to the internet, it only makes sense to be able to track your dog’s health and medical visits. Today’s smart phones allow you to do just that. Imagine your dog’s entire medical record at your finger tips. Today we are going to talk about some smart phone apps that do just that. There are apps that will help you with first aid and what is poisonous for your pet. There is even an app that shows and rates dog parks. Sorry android and microsoft users, I have an IPhone, so I only know what is available for Apple. Having said that, with todays smart phone competition, I’m sure there are versions for the other phones as well.

The apps that I am going to talk about are apps that I use, the names of the apps and their trade marks belong to those who created the app.

Paw Card from JIVEMEDIA LLC, is a nice app for keeping your pet’s vital info. “With this app. you can create a profile for each pet that includes: veterinary contacts, identifications, vaccinations, medications, allergies & conditions, journal entries and weight tracker” (from Paw Card app.). I use this app. I like it, it covers all the bases and is easy to use. There are a couple of draw backs, all entries in each category are saved in the order in which they were entered. So, if you enter something out of order, it is saved that way, so you can’t go back and add entries from an earlier date and have it save in chronological order.  The other thing is, if you list your monthly meds under vaccines, like heart worm and flea treatments, your vaccines list gets really long. It would be great if they included a monthly “preventative” catagory for these. You can add a photo of your pet and email the record to whomever you want, which can be good, if you change vets or someone is caring for your pet while you are away. You can add multiple pets. There is a ad for free pet insurance quotes. I tried to get a quote for each of my dogs and I never received a quote. This is an all around good app. that will take care of all the essentials. I believe Paw Card is free.

Pets+ from Pets Plus, www.petsplusapp.com . The writer of this app is a really nice guy. When I first saw this app and downloaded it, It had a links section and in the links section was a bunch of listings for breeders. Of course I was like “no way, we can’t have this!”. So, I contacted Pets+ and I explained about rescues and over breeding and they were really cool and said it was an over site on their part, they just weren’t thinking and they immediatly removed breeders and replaced with rescues! That alone raised their status in my book! Great Job guys!

This app takes care of the essentials as well, multiple pet profiles, picture, name, owner, gender, breed, weight, birthday, feeding, appointments, identifications, medications, vaccinations, vets, and notes. All of this per pet. there is an extensive links section too. The links include, Humor / entertainment, reptiles, fish, rescue / shelters, rodents, rabbits, horses, and birds. If you are a rescue, email them at info@petsplusapp.com and they will add your rescue. This app allows you to email, message, twitter, face book or copy your pets profile. You can also share your pets photo with other Pets + users. Another nice feature, you can sync info between devices, so everything is always up to date. This app is $4.99, this could possibly be the best $4.99 you ever spent.

Pet Master by green life apps, has all the standard features, multiple pet accounts, the ability to add a photo of the pet, vaccinations, worming, flea control, surgery, vet visit, grooming, training, walking and sitting. The profile section has vital info, visual info, identification, and ownership info. The daily log has a food history, weight history, mood / attitude log, and activity log. There is a section on allergies, insurance info, medical conditions and special needs. As with the others, you can email the pet profile. When I down loaded this app it was free.

The above are some great apps for managing your pets medical history.  Now below are some apps for use in rescue. These apps can help save a dogs life, by reporting animal abuse.

Break The Chain, by Dogs Deserve Better. You can find the app at www.dogsdeservebetter.com This app is used, if you find a dog that is chained up or is being neglected, you open the app and you fill out the form and the app anonymously submits the info to the correct organization that will follow up on your report.

ALDF …Tips, by the Animal league Defense Fund, www.aldf.org . If you witness abuse, you open the app and fill out the fields and send it. ALDF will follow up and report what you saw. I’ve used both apps, the problem with them is, there is no feed back. So you don’t know if anything was done.

Police Tape , by the ACLU NJ, is an app for protesters. If you are protesting and the police stop by, you open the app, it gives you tips and rights. Then there is a button to record what is said during your encounter. After the encounter, you simply close the app. When you open the app again you can label the recording, describe what happened, both publicly and private , you will have a GPS location marker and you can up load it to the ACLU for later review. If you do a lot of protesting, this is the app for you.

PupTox, by www.puptox.com This app, tells you what is toxic to your dog. It also has poison control numbers.

Dog park finder, by www.DogGoes.com . This app lists all the dog parks around you using GPS to find your location.

Pet Rescue, by RU Advertising. This app uses the GPS to find your location and tells you  where the veterinarians near you are. The app will help you if you loose a pet and will tell you how to perform first aid on your pet. This is one of those apps, that you never want to have to use, but you are glad to have it, if you do need it.

These are the apps I have on my phone. If you like them, please use them. If you know of any other apps., leave a comment with the app and we will share with everyone else. I’m always looking for new apps. Good Luck.

Brush those Teeth, it’s for more than a Great Smile! …. part 3 of 3

Welcome back to Daisy’s Rescue. Today’s lesson is part three of a three part article on Doggie Dental Hygiene. Usually we stay to a single post articles, but we have so much information to tell you we are dividing it up into three posts. Up until now we talked about, liquids that are added to drinking water, gels, powders and pastes.

Now we bring you to the last way to keep your dogs teeth clean is using dental chews. I use Greenies 27 oz Canister Teenie 96 Count, again, they say that they have proof that their product cleans the teeth of the dogs. I’m not sure. My dogs love the taste of them, but they are really high in calories and the main ingredient is wheat. I am not a fan of grains in dog food or treats. There are a few other brands of dental chews out there, again they are all high calorie and high in grains. I use these sparingly as I am not sure they actually work. As with everything, use your own discretion.

A quick review, There are liquids that can be added to drinking water that kills germs and or change the PH of your dog’s mouth to keep bacteria growth at a minimum. There are powders that claim to kill the bacteria in the dog’s mouth and keep tartar and plaque to a minimum. Gels are wiped on to the dog’s teeth and are supposed to kill germs and prevent plaque build up. Paste is the gold standard that is brushed onto the teeth of your dog and the plaque is removed with the brushing.

Remember that keeping your dog’s teeth clean does more than just make the teeth white, it keeps your dog healthy and prevents many seemingly unrelated diseases. Your veterinarian is your first line of information and advice for your dog’s health. Alway’s learn as much as possible about how to take the best care of your loyal buddy. My dogs are family and get treated as such.

I hope this has helped you learn about brushing your dogs teeth without being too technical, but still teaching you why it is very important. Please feel free to leave comments and or share your experiences. Please follow us on face book Daisy’s Rescue, you can follow us on RSS. If you like to learn more about the products mentioned in this article or wish to purchase them, please use the links that I provided.

Maggie licking the gel on her teeth.
Maggie licking the gel on her teeth.

 

Brush those Teeth, it’s for more than a Great Smile! …. part 2 of 3

Welcome back to Daisy’s Rescue. Today’s lesson is part two of a three part article on Doggie Dental Hygiene. Usually we stay to a single post articles, but we have so much information to tell you we are dividing it up into three posts. Most people don’t realize that taking care of your dogs teeth does a great deal more than just keep them clean.  Good hygiene in your dogs mouth prevents gingivitis and periodontitis, two major causes of tooth loss in dogs and a bunch of other seemingly unrelated illnesses. Believe it or not, bad teeth and dental disease can cause heart, kidney, and liver disease. This also happens to be true in humans too.  It is generally recognized that 80 to 85% of dogs over 4 years old  have some degree of dental disease. So, it is no surprise that the number one medical condition that Veterinarian’s see is dental disease. Oddly enough, dental disease is probably the easiest condition that can be prevented.

Before I go any further, let me reiterate that I’m not a dentist, veterinarian, canine nutritionist or sales rep. for any products that I mention in my blogs. I’m just conveying to you what I have learned over my experiences, in hope, that it will help you take good care of your dog. My dogs are just as important to me as any other family members I have, and I personally do all I can to take the very best care of them.

Just a quick rehash of what we talked about in the last article. We talked about dental disease in dogs and what causes it. We started to talk about how to prevent it by talking about products that can help you take care of your dogs teeth.

Proden PlaqueOff Dental Care for Dogs is the powder added to food. Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Water Additive and Natural Chemistry Dental Cleanse Oral Hygiene Treatment for Dogs, both water additives.

The next dental care product is what I’m going to call a hybrid of dental products. It’s a gel that you wipe onto the surface of your dogs teeth. It is spread throughout the dogs mouth through licking and thereby, cleans the teeth. There is no brushing required and like the water additives, they are intended to kill bacteria via an antiseptic. I use Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Clean Teeth Gel, the ingredients: Purified water, grain alcohol, natural mint, glycerin, natural cleanser, aloe vera leaf juice, carbopol, chlorophyllin, green tea leaf extract. My dog, Duchess, had the worst breath ever until I started to using this product. Within a few days, her breath was clean smelling. I mean, no smell, where before she would make you turn away. She stopped rubbing her nose after meals and I noticed that I did not have to put her on antibiotics every couple of weeks to keep her gums from becoming overly inflamed. There are other gel products out there, but this is my recommendation having found it to work successfully.

Tropiclean Dental Cleaning GelTropiclean Dental Cleaning Gel

Daisy getting gel applied to her teeth.
Daisy getting gel applied to her teeth.

 

Having gel applied to her teeth.
Having gel applied to her teeth.

The next product is actually doggie toothpaste. Every veterinarian that I have consulted said the same thing: DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE for your dog. Human toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed.  There are a wide variety of Canine/Doggie toothpastes available. The problem I have with many of these toothpastes is some of the ingredients. I like giving my dogs the best of everything and when I see stuff like, animal digest, sorbitol, dextrose, and the like. I just have a hard time thinking that I’m preventing gum disease by scrubbing my dogs teeth with sugar. With that said, I like to use a multi-dementional approach to teeth cleaning. I like to use a water additive and a gel in addition to a toothpaste. Back to the paste. I use Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste Dog Poultry Flavor,my dogs love the flavor and actually look forward to me brushing their teeth.

Toothpaste
Toothpaste

 

Applying tooth paste to the tooth brush.
Applying tooth paste to the tooth brush.
Tucker having his teeth brushed.
Tucker having his teeth brushed.

 

Make sure you get all the way to the back teeth
Make sure you get all the way to the back teeth
Front teeth get brushed too!
Front teeth get brushed too!

 

I brush my dog’s teeth a couple of different ways. I use a dog sized toothbrush and brush the paste onto the dog’s teeth just like a human. I also use a 4X4 gauze pad (the ones used in wound care), I wrap my finger in the gauze and I put the paste on my finger and I brush the dog’s teeth with my wrapped finger. This gives me more control of where I’m brushing and I can feel the teeth, so I know that they are getting brushed. It really isn’t hard to brush your dog’s teeth and it only takes a few minutes. I can brush all of my dogs teeth in about 5 minutes. There really isn’t any excuse not to brush. Even dogs that have just come into my home as new foster dog’s allow me to brush their teeth.

So far we have talked about a few ways to clean and keep your dogs teeth in good condition. To recap, There is a drinking water additive, food additive and gel that is applied to your dogs teeth (no brushing needed), and brushing your dogs teeth. Any of these methods are better than nothing with brushing being the gold standard.

Next week we will look at the final installment of Doggie Dental Hygene.

 

Brush those Teeth, it’s for more than a Great Smile! …. Part 1 of 3

Welcome back to Daisy’s Rescue.  We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s lesson is part one of a three part article on Doggie Dental Hygiene. Usually we stay to a single post articles, but we had so much information to tell you we are dividing it up into three posts. Most people don’t realize that taking care of your dogs teeth does a great deal more than just keep them clean.  Good hygiene in your dogs mouth prevents gingivitis and periodontitis, two major causes of tooth loss in dogs and a bunch of other seemingly unrelated illnesses. Believe it or not, bad teeth and dental disease can cause heart, kidney, and liver disease. This also happens to be true in humans too.  It is generally recognized that 80 to 85% of dogs over 4 years old  have some degree of dental disease. So, it is no surprise that the number one medical condition that Veterinarian’s see is dental disease. Oddly enough, dental disease is probably the easiest condition that can be prevented.

Before I go any further, I have to say, I’m not a dentist, veterinarian, canine nutritionist or sales rep. for any products that I mention in my blogs. I’m just conveying to you what I have learned over my experiences, in hope, that it will help you take good care of your dog. My dogs / pack are just as important to me as any other family members I have, and I personally do all I can to take the very best care of them.

Now before we can talk about dental disease, we need to know what it is. Dental disease is the build up of plaque, tartar, and bacteria on the teeth and gums. The gums become irritated, turn red and become inflamed or look swollen. The inflamed gums cause pain and will continue to get worsen over time. If left untreated by your vet they can eventually lead to missing teeth and jaw bone damage in your dog.

Every time a dog eats, the saliva, food, and bacteria form plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that stays on the surface of teeth after eating. When plaque forms on the teeth, it will quickly start to turn hard into a calcium like substance. This hardened substance is known as tartar. When plaque and tartar form, the build-up starts to pull the gums away from the teeth and allow bacteria to go below the surface of the gum line and start to attack the teeth at the roots. This bacteria will also attack the bone of the jaw and even enter the blood, causing other organs to become diseased. Doggie Dental hygiene is no joke!

There are several reasons why dogs develop dental disease. One of them is simply genetics.  Certain dog breeds and even small breed dogs can often be predisposed to dental problems. Greyhounds are notorious for having bad teeth. Dachshunds are also known to have frequent dental disease. When dogs are rescued from puppy mills we often see them with advanced gingivitis & periodontal disease, this is in part because of the lack of fresh, clean water. When dogs are imprisoned in puppy mills, they often do not get enough water. The water that they do receive is usually from water droppers (like the kind used for mice and hamsters), this does not allow enough water to be taken into the mouth to wash the teeth like natural drinking. Many dogs will lose up to all of their teeth when they are rescued.

In order to identify if your dog has dental disease you have to know what to look for. Bad breath is a telltale sign that your dog has something going on inside that mouth. Other symptoms include, but are not limited too, red inflamed/puffy gums, bleeding gums, stained teeth, loose teeth, and hard yellowing deposits on the teeth particularly at the base. If you see your dog rubbing his nose on the ground after a meal, that could indicate that the dog has some mouth pain. The pain could be from having bad teeth or gum disease. Another cause of a dog rubbing his nose could be an allergy as well.

If unchecked dental disease will cause teeth to become loose and fall out, the jaw bone could become diseased. The bacteria could spread to the heart, kidneys, and liver. When we bring a Dachshund into rescue, if the teeth are bad, you can almost guarantee that dog will have a heart murmur. The good news is that once the teeth are cleaned and the gums heal, the heart murmur either goes away completely or at the very least lessens.

Now how do we prevent dental disease? It’s quite simple… brush those teeth! Brushing is the easiest way to clean the teeth and ensure a healthy dog. To provide the best possible out come for your dog, brush his teeth twice a day after each meal. Now, I know most of you are saying that’s crazy. Twice a day is the best scenario, if you can’t do that, once a day is ok, not optimal, but will do a reasonable job. Obviously, whatever you do to clean your dogs teeth is much better than doing nothing. When I get a new puppy or even a new foster dog regardless of the age, the first thing I do is start playing with their mouth and paws. By playing with their mouths and paws, I’m conditioning them to allow me to examine, brush their teeth, and also cut their toe nails.

There are many products out on the market that are designed to clean your dogs teeth. These products range from you doing nothing to the dog, to the actual brushing of teeth. Again, the more you do for your individual pet the better the results will ultimately be. Buyer beware! Every product claims to have clinic studies backing up the results that are supposed to come from the use of the product. I use common sense, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, think about what the product claims and use common sense. The bottom line on dental products is this, you need to kill bacteria and remove physical particulate from the teeth surfaces.

One thing you need to know, if you spend some quality time and money now buying dental care products and brushing your pet’s teeth, you will save both money, as well as, pain and suffering of your dog later. The average cost of dental cleaning $ 300, my girl Duchess cost over $ 1,000 to take care of her dental disease.  We brought her into rescue and had her teeth cleaned. She had 9 teeth removed during her dental cleaning (and that was in addition to the 9 she was already missing due to lack of dental care), so in the end she had lost more than half her total teeth. (Duchess was a Dachshund) So the old cliche is all too true, a once of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Her one canine tooth that was pulled created a fistula (a hole in her gum that went into her sinus cavity. That hole had to be closed, the closure didn’t work at first, so she had to have a second surgery to get the hole repaired.  At this point, Duchess is 15 years old and has 18 teeth missing and we are working hard to save the others with daily teeth cleaning.

One of the first things we do when in dog rescue with the intake of a new foster dog, is to evaluate the teeth. They frequently need to see a veterinarian to be put on both pain meds and antibiotics to take care of the infected gums and to allow the dog to eat pain free. Sadly, it’s not at all uncommon to have the new foster animal on heart meds because of murmurs caused by the gum disease. Usually within a few weeks after the dental the heart murmur goes away or dissipate to a level were medicine is not needed.

Now what do we use to clean the dogs teeth? There are few different products, each one has its own unique advantages and I will explain them here. The products range from pouring liquid into water and allowing your dog to drink it, all the way to the tooth paste that you brush their teeth with. We will start with the easiest to use first.

PlaqueOff, Proden PlaqueOff Dental Care for DogsThis is an all natural seaweed powder, that is sprinkled into the food dish on top of their food to be ingested by your dog. The seaweed is supposed to have antibacterial properties that will kill the bad bacteria in the mouth that causes plaque and tartar. The manufacture claims that this will not only stop the development of plaque but remove existing plaque and tartar. I have used this product. I typically use this when I get a new dog in to foster. I have found that this powder softens the plaque and tartar making it easier for the plaque and tartar to be removed during dental cleaning. My senior girl, Duchess had bad, stinky breath and I used this product in addition to regular brushing and her breath didn’t get much better. In PlaqueOff’s defense Duchess had been living with really bad teeth that had gone untreated for a very long time. However, our dog, Daisy has used the Proden PlaqueOff and the tartar build-up softened right up, enough so that I was able to scrap her teeth and clean most of the heavy plaque off myself. No veterinarian needed.

 

Daisy getting gel applied to her teeth.
Daisy getting gel applied to her teeth.

There are also many different products that come in a liquid that you can buy and add to the water that your dog drinks and it is supposed to stop or at least inhibit the build-up of new plaque and tartar to your dogs teeth, some even claim they clean the teeth of existing plaque and tartar. These products aim to change the PH value in your dogs mouth. Making the mouth environment more acidic to kill/ prevent more bacteria. What you need to remember is that the bacteria is only part of the equation here. You still have the accumulation of solid food particles. While killing bacteria helps, it isn’t the end all be all. Be careful choosing a liquid product, look for certain ingredients like, chlorhexidine gluconate or Cetylpyridinium Chloride which are antiseptics used to kill the bacteria.  Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Water Additive, uses Cetylpyridinium Chloride as an antiseptic. Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid Tartar Remover, changes the PH in the dogs mouth to create an environment that is harder for bacteria to survive. I have not used this product, so I’m not endorsing it, but have it here as an example of other types of water additives. I do use Natural Chemistry Dental Cleanse Oral Hygiene Treatment for Dogs, I like it because it does not contain sweeteners and other unsavory ingredients such as dyes.

This is the end of part one. Next week part two will be posted. Part two is going to be about gels and paste. If you have any questions please leave a comment and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

 

Over Nighting Dogs for Transports

Another part of transporting dogs, is to overnight a dog. This means that some dogs are being transported such a distance that they can’t get to where they are going in a reasonable time, so they need to stay somewhere over night and continue on their way the next day. The requirements are almost the same as when you are doing a transport.

The main thing you must remember is to, isolate / quarantine the dog or dogs on transport from your own pack. These dogs are tired, confused, scared, and stressed. These dogs do not understand what is going on. They are dehydrated and hungry. Some may need to have medication given to them. This is your job.

You have picked up the dog, transported him to your home and now you are going to keep him over night. I call the transport coordinator and let them know the dog is safe and in for the night. I then call the sending person and see if the dog needs anything not listed in the paperwork. I take the dog out of the vehicle and I walk the dog or take the dog to my fenced in back yard. I let the dog relax and wander around a little bit. I make sure I pick up and dispose of the dogs waste. It is very important to pick up and dispose of the dogs waste. You do not want to expose your dogs to worms or other parasites that the visiting dog may have. While taking care of this dog, you need to protect your dogs. Once the dog is settled, I also contact the receiving person and give them a report on how the dog is doing. I don’t want anone to worry about how he is doing. You will find that people really appreciate you calling them and updating them on how the dog is doing. Remember, some one or maybe a bunch of people care about this dog. My dogs are family, I treat all dogs as if they are some one’s family, because they are.

It is important to take the dog to an area that is able to be kept clean and easy to clean and sanitize. I use my kitchen. I have tile flooring that is easily kept clean. I learned this next tip from a fellow rescuer, that I was talking to on a transport. Buy a few shower curtains at a dollars store. I used a tarp prior to finding out about the shower curtain. Put the curtain on the floor, put pee pads on top of the curtain. I then put a dog exercise penover the pee pads and curtain. The “Ex Pen”, then contains the dog in an area where he will be safe, and contained. I then put up a pet gateacross the opening to get into the kitchen. This keeps my pack away from the “Ex Pen”. The dog does not need the added stress of my pack checking him out. We make sure that he has plenty of water and we encourage him to drink, as the dog is most likely dehydrated. We offer him food. The dog should have food with him. Use this food, so the dog does not developed GI issues. If the dog is not interested in his food, help him out a little.

I always keep home made chicken broth on hand. I buy ground chicken and I boil it in a large pot of water. I remove the chicken and freeze it for future use. I wait until the water from boiling then chicken cools (chicken broth). When cool, I pour the broth into ice cube trays and freeze. when frozen I put them in a gallon freezer bag and I put them in the freeze for future use. I always have a bag of broth on hand.

When an of my dogs won’t eat, or a new dog won’t eat, I get a few cubes of broth, I put them in a bowl and I microwave the cubes until they turn to liquid, I pour the broth on the food. It is very rare that a dog does not like the broth on his food. Usually the food is gone in seconds.

I put blankets and towels in the “Ex Pen” for bedding. I don’t used dog beds, as they are harder to clean and sanitize. We also keep some new toys around. We give the toy to the dog and he will take it with him. We make sure we take the dog out a few times to potty. We pick up any waste. We leave him in the pen to sleep.

My first over night was crazy and I had no idea what I was doing. I did buy a tarp, I did lay down pee pads. I did have an “Ex Pen”. The dogs were supposed to be small puppies of 10 to 20 pounds.

12-11-2010 Paws to the Rescue Sunshine 4 over niht (12)

They were severely dehydrated and extremely thin. We spent most of the night feeding the dogs and getting them hydrated.

In the morning the dogs get breakfast, walked and loaded into the truck for the rest of the transport. I call the sending person, receiving person and the coordinator to report on how the dog did over night and that he is on the road again. I then call the person that I’m going to meet and make sure that they are going to meet me.

The beauty of the dollar store shower curtain is, once you are done using it you wrap everything up in the curtain and throw everything into the trash. Everything is contained, no mess. I still clean and sanitize the tile floor, just in case.

 

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Thank you Daisy