Would you ever go through an entire day without brushing your teeth? In case you didn’t know, your pet has dental needs too!
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 70% of dogs and cats will develop gum disease by three years of age. Maintaining your pet’s oral health is vital to his/her longevity. Dental disease can cause tooth loss, but more importantly, the accumulation of bacteria on the teeth and gingivitis can cause organs (especially the kidneys and heart) to fail much sooner. Thankfully, this is something that as a pet owner, you can help prevent with a combination of regular home and veterinary dental care. Here are some steps you can take at home:
- Start the routine gradually and as early as possible. Use a toothpaste formulated for animals and soft gauze wrapped around your finger. Once your pet is accustomed to this, progress to a pet toothbrush. As with any training you do with your pet, it may take several days or weeks. You can pick up all your dental care needs at the office, our staff would be happy to show you how to use them & answer any questions you may have. It is never to late to start!
- There are specially formulated pet foods on the market today that are proven effective in combating plaque and tartar build-up. We offer a Prescription Diet from Hills, t/d. It is available in a Canine Small or Large Bite formula, it is also available in a Feline Formula. This diet can be used as a treat or feed in place of your pet’s current diet. Please consult your veterinarian before making any dietary changes.
- Look for the seal of the Veterinary Oral Health Council that appears on pet products. This seal approves products that meet defined standards for plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats.
- Don’t wait for your pet’s annual examination if you suspect a problem!
A reputable veterinarian will examine your pet’s mouth at every physical examination. They will recommend a periodontal management program. This may consist of professional cleaning combined with the specific dental home care to help control plaque and tartar buildup. If you thought an annual examination was just for vaccinations, you are misinformed. If you have not scheduled your pet’s annual exam, do so today.
Have you had any personal experiences with your pet having “doggy breath” and what did you do? What other methods have you used to help your pet with dental care? Take a few minutes a day to improve the health of your pet and make sure they aren’t the ones on the block with “doggy breath!”