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% of pets over the age of 3 have some degree of dental disease that will require veterinary attention – and veterinary dental treatments generally involve a full general anaesthetic. These procedures are not only costly (anywhere from $250 to $1000), but also involve an inherent risk, albeit minor, from the anaesthetic. So the big question is – why do we need veterinary dentistry ? Why are dogs and cats getting rotten teeth and gums in such large numbers ? The basic truth is that we no longer feed dogs and cats their natural diet. Instead of raw meat and bones, we are feeding high levels of carbohydrate rich dry and tinned food, which results in the accumulation of significant levels of plaque on the surface of the 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. Many pet owners still mistakenly believe that feeding dry food actually prevents dental disease, but the truth is quite the opposite. There are only a couple of prescription veterinary foods that have been proven to assist with preventing dental plaque formation, and they can be very expensive….but, there is a very simple and inexpensive solution A natural, raw food diet, based on fresh meat and raw bones, will maintain your pets’ teeth and gums in pristine condition. Not only does the raw meat diet not lead to plaque formation, but the physical effect of chewing raw bones will massage gums and scale teeth of any deposits or build up. A simple policy of raw food, and twice weekly feeding of soft raw bones (see this link for all the information you need on how to feed raw bones safely to your dog or cat - http://www.vetsallnatural.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=88&Itemid=103) can maintain your pets’ teeth for a lifetime, and literally save you thousands of dollars, not to mention saving your best friend from a lifetime of sore teeth and doggy breath. 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. Why on earth would you want to risk this, when it is so simple to avoid – just follow Mother Nature’s wisdom and feed RAW, for a long and healthy life for your pets.