Dog showing teeth

February is Pet Dental Health Month

Did you know that most veterinarians discover the periodontal disease, a gum disease caused by plaque and tartar build-up, in 80% of the dogs they see as young as 3 years old?

National Pet Dental Health Month was created by the American Veterinary Medical Association to highlight how vital oral health is to overall health, happiness, and wellbeing of your pet. Not addressing your pet’s dental health could lead to more severe secondary diseases like heart or kidney disease.

Healthy Teeth = Healthy Life

Here are 5 ways to help you keep your pet’s teeth and gums clean and healthy.

Bad Breath

Dog having bad breath

Your dog loves to give you kisses and recently you don’t want any kisses from them because their breath is awful, don’t ignore it! Bad breath may be a warning sign that he or she has some oral disease, and you should get them into the vet before it’s too late.

Do You Brush Daily?

Dog brushing teeth

By not brushing your pet’s teeth, formations of bacteria, food particles, and saliva collect between the gums and teeth, which progresses into tartar build-up (the brown gunk on their teeth). Over time this can develop into periodontal disease, which erodes at the gums and can result in bad breath, bleeding gums, and pain.

As little as only 2% of pet owners take the time to brush their pet’s teeth daily. We brush our teeth daily, so why shouldn’t their teeth be brushed daily? Unless you start this at a very young age, to get them used to it, there is a good chance that you will not be able to brush their teeth regularly; therefore, you will need to take them into the vet to get their teeth cleaned.

Dental Chews and Toys

Dog chew toys

They think it’s a game, but you are helping them clean their teeth! It surely isn’t as effective as cleaning their teeth on the regular, but giving them toys and treats that are designed specifically to help clean your dog’s teeth could help remove some of the tartar build-up. Dental chews are proven to be useful for fighting plaque, controlling tartar, and keeping the doggie breath at bay. To be sure you are getting one of the best toys and treats for your dog’s teeth, look for the Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council

Dental Exam

Dog having dental check up

Whenever you take your fur-baby into the vet, they will more than likely take just a minute or two to check out their chompers. If they notice a lot of tartar build-up and bad breath, they may suggest getting your dog’s teeth cleaned. Many diseases start in the mouths of our pups, so it is essential to consider getting their teeth cleaned at least once a year.

Schedule the Cleaning

Vet cleaning dog's teeth

Like many humans, dogs aren’t fans of going to the dentist either. But just like for us humans, they must go in for a cleaning, at least once a year. If you have a smaller dog, they suggest that you take them every six months or so because things are a little more crowded in their mouths, which means it’s easier for the bacteria and tartar to build up.

Most veterinarians recommend anesthesia to thoroughly examine your pet’s teeth and gums, properly get rid of nasty plaque and tartar. Though sedating your dog or cat may sound scary, it’s not that bad at all! The procedure has never been safer or more comfortable. Before your vet even begins anesthesia, he may recommend prescreening tests to help ensure that your pet is healthy enough for the procedure.

The benefits of dental cleaning are amazing! When fur-baby wakes up, her breath will smell better, and her teeth will be shinier and healthier. 

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums helps to protect your pup’s other organs, like the heart and kidneys, from the damaging effects of dental diseases. Healthy teeth = Healthy life!

Thank you for reading our blog and remember to follow us on social media! Tag us using @vitalpetlife and use the hashtags #dentalhealthmonth #healthyteethhealthylife #dogteeth