Animal Dental Health Month
Good pet dental care includes dental chews and regular teeth brushing to maintain cat oral health and dog oral hygiene. Each year, animal dental health month highlights the importance of good oral hygiene to your pet’s overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, one of the most overlooked areas of health is pet dental care for dogs and cats. Most people simply don’t realize how much pet dental care matters until they notice that their dog or cat has really, really bad breath. And like people, pets need professional teeth cleaning on a routine basis.
- 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease
- Brush your animal’s teeth and gums at least twice a week
- Have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned every 6 to 18 months
“Sadly, most pets we see for regular physicals also show signs of dental negligence and in some cases, gingivitis,” says Dr. Roger Willms of AZPetVet Arrow. “In day-to-day living, dog owners simply have a hard time keeping up with brushing their pet’s teeth. But it’s a major cause of concern. You really have to brush your pet’s teeth at least twice a week to make a difference. Otherwise, you’re not really preventing anything. Our pets need good dental care just as the rest of us do.”
The Basics of Pet Oral Health
Start brushing your pet’s teeth at home and supplement their diet with specially formulated pet foods that assist in limiting plaque and tartar buildup. Look for products that have the “Seal of Acceptance” from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, an organization initiated by the American Veterinary Dental Society to guide consumers. These products meet the standards for limiting plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats.
Common Problems with Pet Dental Care
An animal’s mouth is very similar to ours. Abscesses, receding gum lines, bone loss, gingivitis, rotten teeth, and periodontal disease can occur when you neglect cat oral health or dog oral hygiene. When dental health is not addressed, eventually an animal will need things like root canal surgery and extractions. In severe cases, the bacteria and infection in the mouth will spread to the bloodstream, causing problems in the rest of the body, like the liver, kidneys, and heart.
Collectively, poor oral health in pets can lead to a shorter life span, so the time to address pet dental care is NOW. If your dog or cat has bad breath or you see infected gums on your pet, don’t wait for an annual checkup. Have your pet examined by your veterinarian. Your vet can assess the condition of your pet’s teeth and gums, make recommendations for treatments, and monitor the progress of your pet’s dental health routine. Make an appointment today.