According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs suffer from periodontal disease by the age of two. A large part of your pet’s dental health relies on you, the owner. Help your dog or cat ward off bad breath, gum disease, infections, and heart disease by practicing regular at-home dental care. With preventative care, your pet will keep a happy, healthy mouth and you will avoid costly trips to the vet.
When tartar buildup accumulates in your pet’s mouth, it can cause a number of issues, some of which require a trip to the veterinarian:
Bad Breath – caused by plaque forming bacteria or an infection.
Gingivitis – gum inflammation from bacteria, plaque or tartar buildup. Symptoms include bad breath, visible plaque and/or tartar; red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Pet gingivitis is reversible with proper dental care.
Periodontal Disease – an infection between the tooth and gum. Symptoms include bad breath, visible plaque and/or tartar, gum inflammation, loose teeth, pain, sneezing, and nasal discharge.
*If you pet has symptoms of periodontal disease, it is best to first visit with your vet before starting any at-home treatments. Treatments for periodontal disease may include antibiotics, cleaning, tooth extractions, and tests to rule out heart disease.
Regular at-home dental care is the first step in prevention of dental disease in your dog or cat. There are many options and one is sure to fit your lifestyle and pet’s preference.
Brushing with a pet toothbrush or finger brush, along with pet toothpaste helps remove plaque and tartar, while freshening breath. For small pets or pets with sensitive gums, try dental wipes.
Pet Mouthwashes include easy to use sprays, gels and water additives that reduce/kill plaque causing bacteria while freshening breath. A great alternative for pets that dislike brushing.
Dog Chews, like natural rawhides, bully sticks, and pig ears; or natural rubber dog toys will massage gums, scrape away tartar and make teeth strong. It also keeps them happy and entertained!
Diet – Avoid table scraps. Feed your cat or dog a treat that is specially formulated to reduce bad breath and keep teeth healthy.
Follow these simple tips and your pet will have happy, healthy pearly whites!