Why Dental Care Matters To Pets
While providing your pet with regular dental care can certainly reduce bad breath (which can be an early warning sign of dental disease) and brighten your pet’s smile, these benefits pale in comparison to the long-lasting advantages good oral hygiene can have on your pet’s overall systemic health and longevity.
Without regular dental care, you pet is at a greater risk for a number of issues that can and will affect your pet’s overall wellbeing.
Here are some examples of why dental care matters to pets:
- Lack of nutrition from not eating due to a painful mouth
- Pain-related behavioral issues (an animal in pain often bites)
- A compromised immune system
- Bacteria from a tooth infection spreading to the heart, liver, kidney’s or brain – in fact, the #1 cause of heart disease in dogs is dirty teeth.
By protecting your pet’s dental health through regular at-home care and through regular professional cleanings and oral exams, you are ultimately protecting your pet’s lifelong health and wellness.
Does Your Pet Have Dental Disease?
If you have been remiss in providing your pet with regular dental care, the time to start is now.
Dental disease is the most common disease seen by veterinarians. In fact, 70-85% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease. Yet with regular preventative care, it is usually avoidable.
Symptoms of dental disease can include the following:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling (especially in cats)
- Yellow, brown, or discolored teeth
- Loose teeth
- Red, inflamed gums
- Swollen mouth, jaws, or gums
- Doesn’t play with chew toys as often
Something to Smile About
Thankfully, avoiding dental disease and providing your pet with dental care is not difficult.
Through regular at-home care between your pet’s professional cleanings and exams, you can help to protect your pet from periodontal (dental) disease.
Just like we brush our teeth several times a day, your pet should be brushing once a day (ideally) too.
Brushing your pet’s teeth does not have to be hard, and can even become an enjoyable time of day for your pet once he or she is used to it.
One of the most important things to know about at-home care is to never use human toothpastes. Instead, get your pet a special pet-friendly paste that can be swallowed without adverse side effects. Your pet may enjoy a specially designed toothbrush as well, although it’s not necessary.
To learn more about how to care for your pet’s teeth at home, check out the videos on YouTube or ask your vet at your pet’s next wellness visit or dental exam, we’re always happy to help.
Don’t let your pet’s health suffer just because you’re underestimating the importance of dental care for your pet. It’s just as important to your pet’s health as it to yours.
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