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Restore Your Pet's Sweet Kisses This Dental Month

By Dr. Marisa Pasekoff, Managing Veterinarian

Have you heard this one before – a dog’s mouth is cleaner than yours? How many of you have believed it? When is the last time you saw your dog (or cat for that matter) lick under their tail to clean themselves? Last night? An hour ago? Your pets’ mouths are filthy! They never brush their teeth and flossing is out of the question for so many reasons. While it is true that sometimes genetics play a role in making certain pets more predisposed to having tartar build up than others, you, as their caretaker, can be proactive for all of them to prevent dental disease.

How many of you brush your pets’ teeth? How many of you do it daily or twice daily every single day? Odds are, the answers to those questions are quite low. For whatever reason, we just don’t do it. Now, think about how your mouth feels when you don’t brush your teeth when you first wake up. How do you think it would feel (or smell) if you didn’t do that for one week? Are you getting the picture? Pets are not humans, but we have learned over the years that their dental health is just as important. The lack of good dental hygiene is associated with all kinds of diseases – periodontal (bone around the tooth) disease, cardiac (heart) disease, renal (kidney) disease and so many more.

While brushing is still a highly recommended method at reducing the dental disease, there have been fantastic products that have come out that help minimize the build up. The water additive Oxyfresh is incorporated into your pet’s drinking water. This tasteless, odorless solution has enzymes in it to help reduce the build up. There are numerous chews available, assuming you can trust your pets with those products. Products like CET chews, Greenies and Oravet work on both the chemical and physical levels to help break down the existing build up. You should always double check with your veterinarian to see which product is the best one for your pet.

And of course, then there is the dental cleaning. Again, think about what you are recommended to do by your dentist. Chances are, you are recommended to get a professional cleaning twice a year (and that is with you brushing twice daily at least). The two biggest reasons pet owners do not want to do them – cost and anesthesia. Dentals for pets who have severe dental disease can definitely get expensive. The goal is preventive medicine. Let’s clean those teeth before they get to the point that we need to extract teeth or do surgery on the surrounding gingiva (gum tissue). A straightforward routine cleaning can be very affordable. Rocky Gorge has made it even more affordable with wellness plans or dental month discounts. Regarding the anesthesia, we understand, it can be scary. Ask your veterinarian what you can do to help ensure a safer surgery and if your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia. Remember, this is about preventive medicine. Let’s do this while your pet is healthy, and not wait until they have an abscessed tooth.

While we know our pets’ breath may not always smell like roses (because they would probably prefer to eat the fertilizer if given the chance), a smelly mouth may indicate something that needs to be addressed. Book a dental consultation for your pet today, and take advantage of the savings Dental Month has to offer.

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