4 Ways That Non-Anesthetic Dentistry Can Help Your Pet

Do You Kiss Your Pet?

Sophia’s mom loves her very much. After all she is a fantastic, happy-go-lucky and affectionate pup. She’s very kissable.

There’s just one big problem. Her breath stinks! Well, maybe it’s not that bad (depending on who you ask). This is despite her teeth being brushed almost every day.

Certified vet homeopath Dr. Jeff Feinman will review your pet's lifestyle to holistically treat dental diseases .

“I’m very lovable, but you might not want to kiss me.” from www.certifiedvethomeopath.com

Sophia’s guardian has tried supplementing her brushing with other dental care products. Nothing seems to help her fishy, foul mouth odor or nasty yellow dental tartar buildup.

Can Your Pet Get Sick From Having Bad Breath?

Bad breath is often associated with bacteria and decay in the mouth. In addition to the nausea you may feel when getting a good whiff of your pet’s breath, there’s scientific evidence that these same bacteria are associated with other health problems. Everything from heart diseases, kidney issues, etc. Preventing these problems is one of the main reasons that humans brush twice a day and visit the dentist twice a year.

Now is about the time when I expect many of you (Ginny, you out there?) to be saying that our companion animals that eat natural bone-containing diets don’t have these dental issues. In general, I would agree but not 100%. There definitely are some individuals who eat a proper diet but still develop horrific dental disease. Why?

Dr. Jeff Feinman is a certified vet homeopath in Ct who will help you pets holistically.

“Ball, bone, they both go in my mouth, right?” from www.certifiedvethomeopath.com

There are other important factors. The genetic predisposition of the individual is a really big one. Certain breeds like Sophia’s Yorkie brothers and sisters, Toy Poodles, Maltese, etc. are predisposed. There are lots of scientific reasons for this like overcrowding of the teeth, jaw formation, inadequate saliva production, etc.

There’s not much that you can do about your pet’s inherited genes. There are however ways to modify expression of these genes to help your pets stay healthy.

Should You Give Your Dog Or Cat A Bone?

One easy way to optimize genetic expression and even reverse dental disease in some cases is to feed your pet a species-appropriate diet. They don’t (usually) eat dry kibble and mushy wet food. They have developed strong jaws and ripping teeth (both dogs and cats have these “canine” teeth) for a reason. Dogs and cats in the wild are scavengers and hunters. Designed to eat fresh meat. Often with bone.

Feeding proper bone-filled raw diets is essential to oral hygiene. Most of the world feeds their pets this way. The wonderful books of Australian vet Dr. Tom Lonsdale will help show you how. His “raw meaty bone” diet is very easy to learn and I recommend it for most of my patients.

Dr. Jeff Feinman certified vet homeopath in CT supports raw food feeding for pets

Dr. Lonsdale books and articles are very worthwhile.

Potential complications of feeding bony diets include choking and obstruction. Of course even pets that are not fed bones develop these same problems. These risks can be minimized by following some basic guidelines.

Future blog posts will discuss other ways to work with your pet’s genes to help promote a long and healthy life.

No Bones About It

Some pet owners will not feed a species-appropriate diet. Maybe they feel it’s too risky or their vet has talked them out of it (after all, the AVMA is against feeding raw). OK, but their pet’s can still have clean teeth and fresh breath.

Most vets only ever discuss two ways to promote better dental hygiene. Home care with brushing the teeth and dentistry under anesthesia in the hospital. There is however a third and very effective option, Non-anesthetic dentistry (NAD).

I don’t mean scraping or flicking off of tartar chunks by your groomer, at the pet store, etc. I’m talking about trained dental care professionals devoted to helping you keep your beloved companion’s teeth clean. Despite what you may have heard, these cleanings include manual and ultrasonic dental scraping and polishing. Without anesthesia. Yes, when held and reassured properly, most pets will tolerate having this performed.

The 4 Benefits

Many pet guardians like Sophia’s mom are already doing everything they can at home yet their pet still has stinky breath. Doesn’t NAD seem like a perfect option for them?

NAD is absolutely not meant to replace tooth brushing at home or dental procedures performed in the hospital under anesthesia. NAD is not designed for pets that have severe or painful oral diseases that require major dental work. It’s a great middle ground though.

Dr. Jeff Feinman is a certified vet homeopath in Weston CT who treats pets with holistic medicines.

“I had my non-anesthetic dental last winter and ate some yummy snow later that day”. from www.certifiedvethomeopath.com

The 4 main benefits of NAD are:

1- Holistic and gentle proactive preventative care

2-Early detection of potentially dangerous disease

3-No need for hospitalization, drugs and anesthesia

4-Increased animal guardian acceptance, compliance and follow-up

Isn’t NAD Actually Harmful?

Sounds great, but one big obstacle might be your veterinarian. Some vets are dead set against NAD. For various reasons. One group of these include the American Association of Animal Hospitals (AAHA).

However these naysayers often become converts when they keep an open mind. Maybe even observe an NAD procedure or two performed by an experienced dental technician. There’s even documented scientific evidence that NAD works.

Unfortunately though some vets still don’t see any benefit to NAD. Much to the detriment of our patients in my opinion. Some of my colleagues have even given up their hard-earned and coveted AAHA memberships because of this issue. One of these is my colleague Dr. Shelley Epstein who has this to say:

“NAD has enabled many more dogs and cats to have dental care at our practice. Since most of these pets are under 5 years of age, we are able to start their dental care BEFORE periodontal disease sets in, hopefully keeping the pets’ mouths healthier and preventing more expensive dental procedures down the road.”

“We believe in NAD, when it is used appropriately by a highly skilled staff, so strongly that we gave up our AAHA membership after 25 years.”

“ It appeared that in making their decision, AAHA relied  on anecdote– stories of bad experiences when unqualified people like groomers performed NAD, for example-  rather than giving weight to the clinical trial that showed that showed that NAD, when performed by highly trained professionals, is safe and effective.”

I did not feel that the opinions of their members with experience with NAD counted. It was as if we were being told we were employing a sub-standard practice by offering NAD, even with all the filters we have in place for patients to qualify for the procedure. It was a difficult decision, but in the end we did what was right for our patients.”

Dr. Jeff Feinman is a certified vet homeopath in CT who will review your pet's full history to help decide the best treatment

Dr. Jeff Feinman at www.certifiedvethomeopath can help you choose the best holistic treatment so you can relax.

But What Should I Do To Best Help My Pet’s Teeth?

As with most other things in life, there are two sides to the story. There are good arguments for both. Over 30 years of scientific observation has landed me firmly among the veterinarians who say that NAD helps my patients.

Some fortunate pets never need professional dental care. For those who do however I will continue to recommend NAD when home care is not enough.

If new information comes available or if I ever modify my opinion I will post it here or at homeet.com. If you’d like to read more about the benefits of Dr. Lonsdale’s raw meaty bone diet, you can do it here.

Be well.

Dr. Jeff


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