Pet Dental Health Matters
As pet owners, we want our pets to be healthy and happy at all times. This is why we need to pay attention to our pet's temperament and body. If your dog's bad breath is turning you off, take them to the vet. This could be a sign of serious health risks including gum disease and damage to internal organs.
Being that February is just around the corner, we want to start discussing National Pet Dental Health Month and what you can do as pet owners to take care of your dog and cat's teeth.
Periodontal disease in pets is the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs - caused by poor oral hygiene. Your dog may have this type of tooth disease if their mouths are swollen and red with tender gums. Fortunately, it is completely preventable, if proper care is taken for pets. As with humans, daily tooth brushing is a must for pets. Dog tooth brushes have softer bristles and a longer reach. Choose a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste specific for your breed; then follow these steps to successfully brush your pet's teeth:
1) Get your dog comfortable with your finger in his/her mouth. It may take some time, so be patient.
2) Let the dog lick some dog toothpaste off your hand to familiarize them with the taste.
3) Show the toothbrush to your dog or cat.
4) Brush a few teeth at a time while gently lifting their lips. If you have a family member that can help, this is best.
Sometimes pets will not cooperate with you, no matter how patient you are with them. If this is the case, try interacting with your pet using a chew toy. (This may help calm their nerves.) Professional dog cleaning can be done, but it can be quite expensive. If you cannot brush teeth, you can also try a gel or spray.
In the meantime, healthy dog snacks and dog peppermint treats can help clean teeth. Pet owners can find these items at local grocery stores or pet stores.
- Jenn Smith