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Bad Behavior Or Bad Breath � Why Is Your Dog Chewing The Table Leg?

I once knew a man who gave away his border collie because the dog chewed on his furniture while he was at work. The dog�s second family discovered the pooch had bleeding gums and two rotten teeth. Their vet removed the two bad teeth and cleaned the rest. While they were prepared to bring in an obedience trainer, they didn�t have to because the dog never chewed up anything again.

When a dog that never used to chew things starts chewing, it�s a good idea to let a veterinarian rule out physical problems, such as teeth and gum problems. You and I know how awful a tooth ache can be � how we press the side of our face, against the offending tooth to relive pain? Since dogs can�t do that, they may chew on something hard, like the leg of a chair, to help relieve the pain. Sometimes there really are medical reasons for bad behavior that dog training isn�t going to fix.

Poor oral condition in dogs and cats can lead to heart and kidney disease, as well as painful tooth aches, or gum disease. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, oral disease is the No. 1 health problem diagnosed in dogs and cats! But if you follow the steps below, you'll increase your pet's chances of a lifetime of healthy, pearly whites:

1. At least once a year, make an appointment with your veterinarian for an exam and dental cleaning if necessary and schedule follow-ups if you discover swollen gums.

2. Develop an at-home dental care routine that includes a nutritious diet and yes, regular brushing. While it�s best to start when they are young, with patience and persistence on your part, even an older animal can get used to having their teeth brushed and they may even enjoy the extra attention. And nix the table scraps � they cause plaque build up.

If, after devoting attention to your pet�s oral health needs, you find the chewing continues, then you have a behavioral problem and you�ll want to seek professional help. To learn more, visit http://www.ezniche.com/data/article.php?l=83.

Submitted by:

Patricia Collier

Patricia Collier is owner of http://FloridaPets.net which offers pet-friendly information to Florida residents and visitors, including where to vacation, play, dine, live and more. Copyright 2006.


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