By Dr. Steven Wolchinksy, Managing Veterinarian
Do you remember when you couldn’t get enough of your puppy’s kisses and loved when your cat would come purring next to you? Those smiles can quickly turn into frowns if your pet’s breath turns sour. Luckily, February is Pet Dental Health month – the perfect time to take a look at your pet’s pearly whites!
By the age of three most dogs and cats are suffering from some level of dental disease. Certain smaller breeds are more prone to periodontal (gum) disease, especially at an earlier age, than other breeds. By the time our pets show us that their mouths are painful, they’ve often been living with dental disease and some discomfort for a long time. Most of us know how awful dental pain is, so what better time than now to address or prevent it from happening in our pets.
Just like our own, your pet’s teeth and mouth are the gateway to how food gets in to their bodies, so it’s extremely important to keep their mouth healthy and as bacteria free as possible. If you begin good dental hygiene for your pets when they are young it will help them stay healthier and possibly live longer. But even if you haven’t, and honestly almost no one brushes their pet’s teeth, it’s not too late to help.
So how do we control the bad breath, bacteria, pain, decreased appetite and other diseases that spread from dental disease?
The best way to take care of your pet’s oral health is to schedule a dental exam and teeth cleaning with your Veterinarian. Once your furry friend is back to their smiling selves, you can help maintain good pet dental health without the need for brushing with dental chews. One of the newest products on the market is called Oravet chews. It uses technology that was developed for people that stops plaque from being able to stick on your dog’s teeth and helps to remove the small amounts of plaque that could be there.
Call your Veterinarian today and schedule a dental check up to be sure your pet’s teeth and mouth are healthy, and discuss how to keep it that way. And being that it’s Dental Month, many Veterinarians have discounts on dental cleanings performed during February. Sweet, huh!
What better Valentines gift to your pet and to yourself than fresh kisses and a healthy smile!