The Canine’s Canines
Do you realize how important the dental health of your pets is to their overall well being? Rather than ignoring your pet’s bad breath and allowing it to become a topic of conversation at any dinner parties you may happen to be hosting, take your furry friend to either the vet, or your own bathroom, and give their teeth and gums a thorough examination. Your pet’s dental health is vital to their general health, particularly because that foul smelling breath may be a sign of a far more serious health risk; with potential to damage not only your pet’s gums and teeth but its internal organs in addition.
According to Dr. Larry Corry, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, "In fact, veterinarians report that periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in dogs and cats. This can lead to painful infections of the mouth, and in severe cases these infections can spread and become life-threatening conditions. During Pet Dental Health Month, the AVMA is encouraging all dog and cat owners to regularly brush their pet's teeth and regularly see their veterinarian for checkups." Periodontal infections have been associated with diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and other life threatening diseases. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by regularly brushing your pet's teeth and by regularly visiting your veterinarian.
Pet Dental Health Month, commemorated every February, is a tool designed by professionals in the veterinary field to help teach pet owners the significance of keeping their companions’ pearly whites in top shape.
So, hopefully after a visit to your local veterinarian, you as a pet owner can develop your own dental care regimen at home. Your veterinarian can suggest steps that may include brushing your pet's teeth. One of the most convenient and effective ways to help stop and prevent oral disease is feeding specifically formulated foods that are proven effective in fighting plaque and tartar buildup. The Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, an organization initiated by the American Veterinary Dental Society to guide consumers, appears on products that meet defined standards for plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats.
After all these treatments and care, a regular trip to the vet and your home routine should maintain your pet’s dental health. Check out our tips on what to for in your pet’s dental health below.
Signs to Look Out For with Pet Dental Health
- Bad breath—it's not uncommon for a dog to have bad breath, but if it becomes unbearable, this is a strong sign of dental disease.
- Tartar build up—just like with people, a dog or cat's teeth should be white and tartar free.
- Swollen, receding, or bleeding gums.
- Fractured teeth—bad oral hygiene can lead to cavities
- Change in eating habits—sometimes an animal's dental disease can become so bothersome that your pet may avoid certain foods.