Periodontal Disease: How Can Norwegian Kelp Help?
When it comes to periodontal disease in dogs - size matters.
Especially if you’re a pet parent of a small dog because according to recent research, miniature and toy dog breeds such as Miniature Schnauzers, Pomeranians, Japanese Chins (or Japanese Spaniels) and Chihuahuas, are actually predisposed to periodontal disease.
And just like with any health issue, prevention is key. In order to prevent periodontal disease from happening in the first place, routine dog teeth cleaning is essential. This might be obvious for any parent and you might just want to buy any type of teeth cleaning products for dogs that the internet recommends but hold that thought. You might end up buying a product with artificial ingredients that can cause more harm than good.
Petz Park Teeth Cleaner For Dogs contains Ascophyllum nodosum or more commonly known as Norwegian Kelp as its main ingredient. Other pet parents who are more familiar with the product may simply refer to it as seaweed for dog teeth. But is it really an effective ingredient for teeth care in dogs? And how?
If you’re a new dog parent of any adorable, small dog breeds or are just about to welcome one into the family, you'll want to know how to clean dog teeth naturally, learn all about the benefits of Norwegian Kelp and ultimately, give the newest member of your family the best oral care that they deserve.
What is Periodontal Disease In Dogs?
Periodontal disease is something that many dogs experience in their lives.
Dog gum disease is caused by bacteria that are present in the dog's mouth.
Dog periodontal disease starts off slowly and can progress to more advanced stages if it is not caught early. It is caused by a buildup of plaque, (a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth).
The good news is that it's fairly easy to catch it early and periodontal treatment at the vet’s is readily available.
Treatment and the general cost of dog teeth cleaning can be quite expensive. As responsible dog parents, it’s our job to keep a close eye on them and stay alert for any sign of gum problems or discomfort before it escalates.
Signs & Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
The first signs of a dog with dental disease are usually redness and bleeding of the gums. As the condition progresses, yellowish-brown tartar (this may appear crusty) will form on the teeth near the gums. This tartar contains bacteria and other materials that can irritate the gums and cause them to recede from your dog's teeth.
Other symptoms may include:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Red or swollen gums
- Gums that appear to pull away from teeth
- Loose teeth or teeth that are moving out of position (in advanced cases)
- Pain in the mouth or when chewing
- Swelling around the face and neck
- Decreased appetite and/or weight loss
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The most common cause of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque on the surface of the teeth. Plaque consists primarily of bacteria and its metabolites (cell products), food debris and salivary components.
The accumulation of plaque on the tooth's surface eventually forms dental calculus (also commonly known as tartar), which further exacerbates inflammation in the gums by causing injury to the gum tissue and promoting bacterial growth.
A dog suffering from periodontal disease will be in a lot of pain and if untreated can lead to tooth and bone loss and tooth fractures as well as infections in your dog's liver, kidney, heart and other organs.
Is your small dog more at risk of periodontal disease?
According to this study published in Frontiers In Veterinary Science in July 2018, it was found that small dog breeds prove to be more likely than large breeds to develop dental problems such as periodontal disease.
The dog breeds included in this study involved: Japanese Chin, miniature Schnauzer, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and West Highland White Terrier breeds.
In that same study, it was determined that after a 90-day administration of edible treats containing the brown algae, Ascophyllum nodosum (Norwegian Kelp), A. nodosum “efficiently decreased plaque and calculus accumulation in the investigated dogs” and “dogs treated with A. nodosum also exhibited significantly lower concentrations of VSC (volatile sulphur compound) and better oral health status (e.g., OHI (oral health index) and GBI (gingival bleeding index) ) than those in the placebo-control group.”
Why are small dogs more at risk for periodontal disease?
The study does not provide clarity as to why small dog breeds are more prone to developing periodontal disease but veterinary experts believe that this is due to a small dog’s more compact head and jaws. This leads to their teeth “overcrowding” which means there is less space in between teeth and more places for food and other debris to lodge, grow bacteria and ultimately cause gum infection.
That’s not to say that large dog breeds have zero risk for periodontal disease. All dogs, if their teeth are uncared for, will suffer from gum infections at one point or another if dog teeth cleaning isn’t made a priority.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
The best approach to periodontal disease in dogs is prevention. You can do this by brushing your dog's teeth daily, preferably with a toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs. If you cannot brush for any reason, you can learn how to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing such as using dental wipes, dental treats and dental sticks. Please note that these do not substitute for actual brushing.
Of course, even the most diligent owner may not be able to prevent all dental issues especially if you own a small dog.
This is why at the first sign of any oral health issues, always take your dog to the vet. Don’t wait for that mild case of bad breath to grow into something more serious. If your dog has lost their appetite, is lethargic or you notice that their mouth is starting to emit a foul smell, visit your vet immediately.
Make sure you do your best to show up for annual vet appointments. If needed, your vet will perform a more thorough examination of your dog’s teeth. You can also visit for regular dog teeth cleaning on top of daily brushing/teeth cleaning at home.
Since proactivity is key to avoiding periodontal disease, one of the most effective natural ingredients in the world to keep teeth and gums in tiptop shape is Norwegian Kelp. Let’s explore more about this superfood and why it’s so great for dogs in the next section.
What Is Norwegian Kelp?
Norwegian Kelp has been used for centuries by people around the world as an alternative medicine to treat ailments such as colds, coughs, fevers and other illnesses. The benefits of this natural remedy have been known since ancient times when it was used to make tea or eat as raw food.
It is a type of seaweed that grows in the clean, cool waters of the North Atlantic Ocean where healthy kelp beds (also known as kelp forests) grow.
It is also known as Nodosum or Nodosum seaweed - because its scientific name is Ascophyllum nodosum. Some may also refer to it as rockweed, knotted kelp, knotted wrack, egg wrack (English); goémon noir, algue noueuse, robert, favach, ascophylle noueuse (French); knotswier (Dutch); Knotentang (German); Klóþang (Icelandic), among other local names.
💡 Petz Park Tip
Norwegian Kelp’s main component is alginate. Alginate provides many benefits for oral health because it has been shown to bind to heavy metals and bacteria, both of which can lead to periodontal disease if they are allowed to accumulate in the mouth.
Aside from being great for teeth and gums, Norwegian Kelp also contains a myriad of nutritional benefits.
- It contains iodine, which helps regulate thyroid glands and potassium, which helps prevent hypertension.
- It contains over 70 minerals and vitamins and is also an excellent source of dietary fibre and protein.
- Because it grows in the ocean, it contains beneficial trace minerals like selenium and important enzymes that support digestion and nutrient absorption.
- It is used in many foods and beverages as a flavouring agent and thickener because it has a salty flavour similar to that of soy sauce.
How can Norwegian Kelp help prevent periodontal disease in dogs?
There are lots of teeth cleaning products for dogs on the market that claim to help dogs fight periodontal disease. From dental dog food, water additives, to toothbrushes, to dental chews - you name it, you’ve probably heard of it.
But Norwegian Kelp is different.
It is a single, powerful ingredient that grows naturally in the ocean and is packed with nutrients like iodine, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Norwegian Kelp has big benefits that make it a great addition to any dog's overall teeth care:
- It helps prevent periodontal disease in dogs by killing bacteria that cause plaque buildup on teeth and gums.
- It contains natural compounds that promote the healing of damaged tissue caused by periodontal disease.
- It has been shown to be especially beneficial for gum health because it has naturally occurring iodine which helps to reduce inflammation and swelling of the gums.
- It helps support your dog's thyroid function (which is important for metabolism).
We want to keep your dog happy and healthy, we’ve added a natural teeth cleaner for dogs in our line of great pet products with Norwegian Kelp as its main, active ingredient. Dental Kelp for Dogs is a powder supplement that you can simply sprinkle on top of your dog's food.
🚨 Petz Park Alert: Vets love the dental benefits of Norwegian Kelp but also advise that these should be given to dogs in the right amounts. Since Norwegian Kelp naturally contains a good amount of iodine, it may cause hyperthyroidism if given in incorrect doses or, when given just a little too much more than recommended. In general, small amounts provided on a regular basis are recommended. Consult with your vet if unsure of the right dosage.
Generally speaking, if your dog has periodontal disease, you should consider switching to a dog teeth cleaner containing Norwegian Kelp. That’s because this supplement can help stave off the ill effects of plaque buildup by promoting healthier blood flow to the gums and supporting tooth remineralisation. In any case, whether your furry buddy has a dental condition or not, or whether you own a small dog or large dog, adding Norwegian Kelp can only provide numerous benefits - including better oral health and a healthier digestive system.
*This information is intended as general information only. It was not written or intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please seek professional guidance from your pet’s veterinarian before taking any action that could affect your pet’s health.