How Do I Keep My Pet’s Teeth Healthy?
February is National Pet Dental Health Month! Dental disease, or periodontal disease, is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. Over 80% of dogs over the age of three have active dental disease. Also, between 50 and 90% of cats older than four years of age suffer from some form of dental disease. Dental disease in pets can start with a few symptoms, including bad breath, and red or inflamed gums. These symptoms can progress to yellow or brown teeth, loose teeth or teeth falling out, and if your pet is refusing to eat and is losing weight. Although these statistics seem a little scary, don’t worry! There are a few things you can do to keep your pet’s teeth healthy and prevent dental disease before it progresses.
1. Regular Brushing
Just like with humans, cleaning your pet’s teeth regularly can help prevent odor from developing while also removing any food particles in between your pet’s teeth and gums. This will prevent the build up of tartar and plaque deposits. Just make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and only use toothpaste specially formulated for use on pets.
2. Healthy Foods and Treats
Some dry pet food isn’t healthy, as some kibbles contain a higher percentage of refined carbohydrates. These types of dry foods could ultimately increase plaque and tartar levels. Many dental health issues in pets are also caused by malnutrition, so work with your veterinarian to address your pet’s nutrition and develop a healthy meal plan with nutrient-rich foods for your pets. There are also treats that are good for your pet’s teeth and can help clean them, such as Greenies and Oravet Chews your dog will love!
3. Professional Dental Cleanings
Your veterinarian may recommend a professional teeth cleaning for your dog or cat once or twice a year. Performing a thorough oral exam can sometimes require the use of general anesthesia. Your veterinarian will use instruments to scale and polish your pet’s teeth, removing tartar and plaque build up that could otherwise lead to dental issues. They also might need to extract teeth that are infected, loose, or painful for your pets.
Make it a point for National Pet Dental Health Month to follow these tips to help ensure your pet’s teeth are as healthy, clean, and strong as they can be! Many veterinarians also provide dental specials during the month of February. Check out our list of Best Vets Las Vegas to see if any of them are having any dental specials this month!