Dog’s have ALWAYS been a part of my life. Since I was a baby, I have been around dogs and till this day I have never been without a dog. Pet’s were an important part of my youth/childhood and they are for A LOT of people across the world. There are over 85 million families in the U.S. who own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). With this in mind, I want to discuss about how important your pets dental health is!
If you love you pet as much as I love my dogs, then you should know their dental health is just as important as humans dental health.
Dog’s and cat’s can get periodontal disease just like humans. In fact, by the age of three, most dogs and cats will have some early stages of periodontal disease, it is the most common dental condition in pets. Some early signs of dental disease that you can look for in your pet includes….
- Bad breath
- Yellow tartar buildup on the teeth
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Broken or loose teeth
Early detection of your pet’s dental health is important! In order to detect these issues you should have a dental evaluation done as part of your pet’s regular preventive care exam. This means it should take place at least once a year.
Poor oral health causes significant and chronic pain in pets. It can affect part of your pet’s overall health. If left untreated it can progress and cause chronic pain and inflammation to your pets health. When dental disease is discovered later, after years of tartar, plaque, and bacteria buildup it can already be causing infections, inflammation, and diseased teeth/gums. Some health problems found associated with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes. Your pet may already be experienced significant, chronic, life-changing pain when they get to this stage of dental disease.
Animals are experts at hiding signs of pain, so the pain may go unnoticed by you. Instead, you may see your pet is increasingly irritable, lethargic, and/or has a decreased appetite. You may think that it is due to their age but may be due to poor oral health.
Homecare is an essential part of taking care of your pet’s oral health. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy. This may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for dental cleanings by your veterinarian.
Brushing your cat or dog’s teeth will help promote good oral health and potentially prevent expensive surgeries down the road! It’s easier than you think. There are even special pet toothpastes flavored like beef, chicken, fish, and peanut butter. Cat’s can be a bit more difficult to brush, but be patient and you can train them to be more receptive to brushing…..Or they train you 😉
NEVER use human toothpaste!! It can contain ingredients like xylitol that are TOXIC to animals!
The accumulation of plaque and tartar can be prevented by feeding your pet a special food diet—food that’s specifically helps their teeth.
Not all pet dental products are created equal. If you aren’t able to brush your pet’s teeth as often as you’d like, consider using other dental products designed to help maintain your pet’s oral hygiene. Be sure to look for products approved by thehttp://www.vohc.org Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Products that aren’t approved by the VOHC, or those that are too hard to bend or break easily—like certain bones, synthetic bones, and other products that can easily fracture your pet’s teeth.
Talk with your vet about any dental products, treats, or dental-specific diets you’re considering for your pet, they will be happy to help.
Remember YOUR PETS DENTAL HEALTH IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS HUMAN DENTAL HEALTH! You’re pet’s overall health can be affected by their dental health. Be kind to your pet, show them some love, like they show you and remember to brush their pearly whites!
Also it is important to know that you can purchase Pet Insurance and they will not always cover dental cleanings for your dog/cat! Dental insurance options vary greatly from one pet insurance company to another. Most companies do not include routine dental care, like teeth cleanings, as part of their insurance coverage! However they’re are a few companies that include dental cleanings as part of their Wellness Plans. Look carefully at the details and see if the pet insurance plan includes routine dental care….devil is in the details!
Hoping to start the conversation!