Dental Health for Pets

Did you know that February is dental health month for pets? Do you know about brushing your pet’s teeth? Maybe some of you already know about it but do you know why or do so?

Just like people dogs and cats both can get dental disease. If we can prevent this, we can possibly extend their lives. I think we all want that! The American Veterinarian Dental Society says that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will develop oral disease by 3 years of age. Wow, that is early. When we don’t brush our pet’s teeth the buildup of food, saliva, and bacteria can lead to more serious issues such as bad breath, bleeding gums, pain and heart and kidney disease.

Signs you may or may not realize your pet may be having problems could include:

  • Not addressing a broken tooth
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Abnormal chewing
  • Drooling
  • Dropping food out of their mouth
  • Not having a good appetite
  • Pacing
  • Low energy

The best way to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is start by talking with your vet. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is quick and easy. It is best to get you dog or cat introduced to it as a puppy or kitten but even as an adult it’s not to late. Slowly introduce them to it. Always use a pet toothpaste. You never want to use a human toothpaste. Human toothpaste can be very toxic to pets. Pet toothpaste come in a variety of flavors like poultry, peanut butter, and mint that can be swallowed and they usually love it. Get the toothbrush sized for your pet. There are also a variety of other ways in addition to brushing your pet’s teeth at home that may help such as:

  • Water additives
  • Gels
  • Treats
  • Chews

Be sure to discuss these with your vet beforehand. Your vet may also recommend a cleaning done at your vets’ office on occasion as well. Here are a few helpful links and videos to get started.

Dental cleaning articles

Cleaning your dog’s teeth video

Cleaning your cat’s teeth video

Now go ahead and start cleaning and see your pet’s pearly whites again!

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