Dental health is an important, but often overlooked, aspect of pet care. According to the AVMA, Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in our dogs and cats. No one enjoys the bad breath our dogs and cats can sometimes have, but Periodontal disease can cause other problems, including loose or missing teeth, bone loss, and in some cases even fractured jaws.
This sounds scary, but the good news is that Periodontal disease is completely preventable! Daily tooth-brushing is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay in our cats and dogs. Here is a helpful video put together by our friends at the AVMA demonstrating the best way to teach our pets to get used to getting their teeth brushed.
Please remember to use toothpaste and toothbrushes specifically designed for animals. Human toothpaste can give our pets an upset stomach because the ingredients do not agree with them. Pet stores and vet clinics carry the right kinds of equipment
There are also treats and toys that can help clean our pets’ teeth. Rawhide, sterilized bones, and of course dental bones and treats are fun for our pets to chew, and the mechanical action of chewing helps remove plaque from their teeth. Check out Tevra Pet 2in1 Dental Sticks. Some dogs don’t do well with certain treats or toys, so it’s always a good idea to monitor them with new chews or bones.
If your veterinarian notices that your pet has tooth pain or decay during a physical exam, they can get their teeth cleaned, just like we do! The procedure is a little more involved than it is with humans and requires a general anesthetic. Preventative dental health care takes a few minutes per day, and it saves a lot of stress and money in the long run. Veterinarians can answer any questions regarding an individual dog or cat’s dental care plan.