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Did you know that dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three? The first sign of dental disease in dogs is often bad breath. You might also notice lethargy, bleeding and swelling of the gums, and reluctance to play with chew toys. Dental disease might seem like a minor issue, but it can actually lead to far more severe health matters including problems with the heart, kidneys, and other organs. The infected parts of the mouth have bacteria that can spread to other parts of the body, often causing severe illness or infections.

It's best to start a dental care regimen as soon as you get a new pet. Your veterinarian can give you great tips on how to brush your pet's teeth, and your pet will become accustomed to it over time. If your pet's dental health has been neglected for some time, you can schedule a dental cleaning with your veterinarian where your pet will be put under anesthesia and receive a thorough dental cleaning and extraction of any infected teeth, if necessary. Your vet will also do a blood panel to see if the dental infection has spread into the bloodstream at all. Another great option for supplementing your pet's dental health is dental treats.

A perfect example of a dental treat for your dog is a product I've recently discovered called Nylabone Nubz, Edible Dental Dog Chews. These dog chews are highly digestible, made of real chicken with no added sugar, salt, plastic, or preservatives, and they are also gluten-free (great for dogs with food allergies.) Nylabone has been creating quality bones and chews for dogs for over 50 years, crafted right in the United States.

Nylabone Nubz are textured treats with nubs (hence the name!)which help clean teeth, freshen breath, and reduce plaque and tartar build-up as your dog chews. Each package contains over 2 pounds of treats, 18 large-sized bones in all. The large bones can also be easily split to create 36 smaller bones. Feeding one dental bone per day is a great way to help keep your dog's mouth in great health and aid in preventing potentially dangerous plaque and tartar build-up before it starts. These treats should, or course, be used in conjunction with a regular dental hygiene regimene for your dog (including trips to the veterinarian.)

TIP: Nylabone products can be found at most popular retailers, but Costco members can enjoy a special discount! From August 19-September 12, 2010, Costco members can use a coupon in their monthly coupon book for $3.50 off Nylabone Nubz while supplies last.

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