A lot of times, pet owners' first thought when it comes to their pet's health is to make sure (s)he is up to date with vaccines, has their monthly preventatives, gets the best food possible for his/her diet…but oral care may not necessarily be at the top of the list.
As we enter National Pet Dental Health Month, we want to make you're aware of exactly why regular oral care is so important.
Have you ever noticed that your furry family members can sometimes have really bad breath? Unfortunately, bad breath can mean more than just dog breath or stinky cat breath…
Periodontal disease is one of the most common in dogs and cats. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will have early signs of the disease by the age of 3. It's caused by the buildup of bacteria in plaque and tartar which can irritate the gums and cause inflammation of the gums, which is known as gingivitis. If periodontal disease progresses it can lead to pain, bone loss, and eventually tooth loss. What most pet owners don't know is that periodontal disease can also affect the heart, kidneys, liver, and brain.
We brush our own teeth at least twice-a-day to prevent the same disease, so caring for the furry members of our family should be just as much a priority. Especially for their long-term health and well-being. And just like we regularly go to the dentist, it's just as important to have a veterinarian check your pet's teeth every 6-12 months, so you can come up with a plan to maintain good oral health. This may include dental cleaning, oral dental treats, and/or daily brushing. Below is a great video from the AVMA about how you can clean your pet's teeth at home, in between their annual/semi-annual veterinary cleanings.
Make sure you speak with your veterinarian about any dental-specific treats or diets. There are a number of products that claim to enhance dental health, so you want to make sure to get the right one(s) for your pet. And don't forget to make that appointment to get your fur-baby's teeth cleaned soon!