Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month?
by Janet - We brush our teeth at least twice per day, floss and go for regular preventive hygiene appointments and checkups. Our pet’s teeth need the same treatment for the same reasons we do! We all want our pets to live long, healthy, pain-free lives. We can help them do just that by implementing a regular oral hygiene routine.
Why should I brush my pet’s teeth? Bacteria in plaque can cause tooth decay in our pets just as it can for humans. Tooth decay can be painful and lead to infection and tooth loss. Tooth loss in our pets can change quality of life and even lead to malnutrition. Bacteria can also cause periodontal disease, leaving your pet more susceptible to systemic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs – and it is completely preventable! How do I brush my pet’s teeth? Many pet owners assume giving their pet’s “dental chews” and hard food is enough to keep their teeth healthy. This is not so! Special toothbrushes and toothpaste are available at your local pet store. They come in flavors your pet will love and are made with ingredients that are safe for your pet. Most pets will allow their owner to brush their teeth without any issues. It may just take some getting used to! What if I suspect my pet has tooth decay? Your vet will assess your pet’s teeth at his/her yearly checkup or, if you suspect a current issue, make an appointment for an assessment. Your vet can make the proper recommendations and diagnose any tooth decay or infection. Your vet may recommend extractions or a professional dental cleaning depending on the issue your pet presents with. Your vet can give you further tips on how to care for your pet’s teeth at home. Remember, prevention is key!