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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 12, 2006

Good oral hygiene can help stave off diseases

Hawaiian Humane Society

Don't drive your dog to stealing your false teeth! Keep his chompers clean.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! via Gannett News Servi

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  • Visit your veterinarian for a check-up.

  • Start a pet dental care routine at home.

  • Keep each session short and positive.

  • Brush in circles along the gum line.

  • Continue with regular veterinary visits.

    For more information, see www.petdental.com.

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    February is when key legislation is introduced. This session, these bills deal with animal welfare:

    Animal Custody Bill, SB 2924: The court can require that animals treated cruelly be relinquished, or that a bond be posted for the animals' care.

    Animal Reimbursement Bill, SB 2930: Costs incurred for the care and housing of impounded animals would be reimbursed to the protective agency.

    Animal Cruelty Bill, SB 2576: Felony-level punishment for people who knowingly and intentionally harm an animal.

    To find out more about these bills, see the Hawaiian Humane Society's Web site, www.hawaii anhumane.org.

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    It's National Pet Dental Health Month — have you inspected your canine's canines lately?

    The American Veterinary Dental Society says oral disease is the No. 1 health problem diagnosed in dogs and cats. Pets depend on their owners to provide dental care, which can include brushing, healthier treats and the doggie version of dental floss.

    If your pet has bad breath, address the problem immediately — because it's not just a matter of smell. A pet with bad breath may have periodontal disease and infectious oral bacteria. Each time your pet swallows, harmful bacteria could be affecting his heart, liver and kidneys. Professional teeth cleaning gets under the gums to clear the infection, improve your pet's smile, and keep the teeth and organs healthy.

    Think about how many times a day you brush your teeth, and how your mouth would feel if you didn't brush. Regular home dental care should include brushing your pet's teeth weekly. Don't use your own toothpaste — you can either buy the pet version or make a paste of baking soda and water. Brush along the gum line with a child's soft toothbrush or stretch a gauze pad over your finger. Concentrate on the outside of your pet's teeth and keep the sessions short.

    OraVet Plaque Prevention Gel can help too. After brushing, apply the gel to seal the surface of the teeth, forming a barrier against plaque formation. Your veterinarian can show you how to apply the product.

    Tartar-control treats are another way to improve pets' oral hygiene. Look for products with the VOHC seal from the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Cotton rope toys act as "dental floss" when your dog chews them.

    Without proper dental care, about 80 percent of dogs and cats over the age of 3 show signs of oral disease. It begins with tooth decay and bleeding gums, progressing to tooth loss and even damage to internal organs. Your veterinarian should check your pet's mouth at every visit and recommend additional dental care when needed.



    Tag No. 86049 She wears a gorgeous spotted coat of warm colors including orange, peach, brown and black. Baby is a true beauty. She is only 15 months old, spayed, vaccinated and microchipped — and ready to move to a new home today.


    Tag No. 86123 Our big poi dog from Kennel 21 has a personality as big as Texas! This 4-year-old male has had some training and walks nicely on a leash. Tex would be a wonderful addition to a family looking for an active dog always ready to have some fun.

    These animals may have already found homes. The Hawaiian Humane Society and McInerny Dog Park at 2700 Wai‘alae Ave. are open daily. For hours, directions, special events and to see more pets available for adoption, visit www.hawaiianhumane.org or call 946-2187.