Start an Oral Hygiene Routine with Your Pet for National Pet Dental Health Month
Each February, we like to spread awareness about the importance of caring for pets’ teeth to celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month, along with cats, dogs, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and other veterinarians across the country.
So, Why Is It Important to Care for Your Pet's Teeth?
A pet’s comfort and health can suffer big-time, if their teeth are neglected. Pets can break teeth and suffer from cavities and abscesses just like people. The primary health concern with a pet’s mouth is periodontal (gum) disease.
Periodontal disease is a gum infection that occurs when plaque and tartar build up on the teeth along the gum line. This buildup creates dark, damp pockets between the gums and the teeth, where harmful bacteria thrive. If not properly prevented or treated, periodontal disease can lead to serious health problems that spread throughout the body. Periodontal disease will begin with uncomfortable oral symptoms like tender, swollen gums, but can eventually turn into a blood infection, which harms vital organs throughout the body.
Left untreated, periodontal disease can become so serious that it leads to organ failure and death.
How to Care for Your Pet's Oral Health
In dental care, prevention is always the best form of medicine. To prevent periodontal disease, humans are supposed to brush and floss twice a day and see a dentist at least once a year. We understand that this type of rigorous oral care regimen might not be feasible for pets, but it’s still important to make dental care a regular part of your pet’s healthcare routine.
Caring for Your Pet's Teeth at Home
The most important dental care actions you can take are the ones that happen on a regular basis in your home. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at least once a week with a specially formulated pet toothpaste and specially designed pet toothbrush.
You can also provide your pet with dental-friendly treats, chew toys, and kibble which are all designed to help break up plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth.
Seeking Professional Pet Dental Care with our Veterinarian
During your pet’s regular wellness appointment, our veterinarians always inspect the pet’s teeth. If needed, we might recommend a professional teeth cleaning. Pet dental cleanings are performed with a pet under general anesthesia to ensure they remain calm and safe.
Schedule a Dental Check-Up
If you notice any signs of potential dental problems in your pet (red or swollen gums, reluctance to eat or drink, or bad breath), we recommend scheduling a checkup right away. We welcome you to contact any of Animal Wellness Center’s five convenient Wisconsin locations.