National Pet Dental Health is celebrated every February to highlight how important dental health is to the overall well being of your pet. There is no better time to develop a regular maintenance plan than now. If you don't currently brush your pets teeth everyday, you are not alone. It is important to know, however, that neglecting oral hygiene can lead to tartar build up, gum disease, bad breath, and a host of other serious conditions. Bacteria can spread to other organs like the heart or kidneys. Unfortunately approximately 80% of dogs exhibit dental disease by age 3. Brushing your dogs teeth is the best prevention.
Here are four things to know when it comes to pet dental health:
- Beware of Bad Breath. Don't ignore bad breath. This could be a sign of periodontal disease. As the disease progresses it can cause things like tooth loss and damage to organs like the heart and kidneys.
- Brush your Pets Teeth. This is the best prevention. Progress slowly and gently. If needed, you can begin by wrapping a small piece of sterile gauze around your finger and let them get used to having your finger in their mouth. Try adding a small amout of toothpaste. Once they get used to this, you can progress to a finger brush or soft toothbrush. Gradually work your way to brushing each side of the mouth for 30 seconds. The goal is to eventually brush the teeth daily. It is very important to always use a toothpaste approved for pets.
- Consider Dental Toys, Treats, and Food. While it's not as effective as brushing your pets teeth, giving them toys and treats that are specifically designed to promote oral health will help maintain healthy gums and teeth.
- Ask your Vet for a Dental Exam. Oral exams and dental cleanings should be done at least once a year…more frequently if home care can't be done or there are other oral problems.
At For Pets' Sake we offer things such as an add-on dental treatments with grooming. We carry pet toothpaste, toothbrushes, Plaq-Clnz treatments, dental treats, and toys. We would be happy to assist you during your visit.