Show Me Your Pearly Whites
February is a month full of love with hearts, kisses, and tasty treats. Share the love for your pets smile by celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month this February and all the months to follow!
Pet dental hygiene often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. You either begin to turn a cheek to Fido’s kisses or notice Fluffy’s reluctance to eat even his favorite dishes. Most pet owners don’t understand the importance of a healthy mouth. In fact, dental care is just as vital for pets as it is for humans. Therefore, it is important to be proactive to help prevent larger issues from arising.
Side Effects of Poor Dental Care
Besides the normal plaque and tartar buildup, the most common problems that arise from poor oral hygiene are Periodontal diseases. If you ever experienced swelling of your gums, you know that Gingivitis can become extremely painful and the pain your pet could suffer is no exception. The more serious of the Periodontal diseases, Periodontitis, can lead to serious bone and gum loss. Serious inflammation of the gums and teeth sockets, Pyorrhea, can cause teeth to loosen and create a puss buildup. If these diseases go unnoticed and poor oral hygiene goes untreated, more serious issues could arise. For example, it is thought that some forms of oral cancer could be caused by bad oral health.
Beyond issues to the mouth, poor oral hygiene can lead to more critical health issues. Chronic oral diseases to the mouth can cause inflammation to spread to other parts of the body. Toxins from the mouth can enter the blood stream and, if left untreated, lead to larger problems that affect the kidney, brain, and heart.
Prevention of Poor Dental Hygiene
The first step to prevent our sweet pets smiles from going sour is providing them a well-balanced dry, protein-based diet. Dry food doesn’t get stuck between the teeth and a protein rich diet holds many of the nutrients our cats and dogs need. Many chew toys such as rawhides and Kong toys promote necessary chewing habitats in dogs, while helping break up plaque buildup.
Chew toys and healthy food is great, but ultimately a healthy mouth comes from regular oral care. It may sound silly but brushing your pets teeth is crucial to killing germs that cause bad breath and larger problems like bacterial diseases and infections. Veterinarians recommend proactive pet owners brush their pets teeth every day or every other day, for ultimate prevention. And just like you or I get regular check-ups from the dentist, our cats and dogs deserve the same care. Scheduling your pets for annual oral exams can help catch and stop the progress of oral diseases.
Tips for Pet Dental Care
The act of brushing your cat or dogs teeth can be stressful, traumatic, and even exhausting. The key is to make it a fun and rewarding event. Using a food flavored toothpaste or offering yummy treats throughout the experience may help your pet be more eager to participate. If this doesn’t work it may be worth introducing a dental hygiene chew toy, such as Drs. Foster and Smith Nylabone Dental Chews and their Dental Health Chew Toys infused with catnip. These are not only fun to play with, but they help by scrapping the teeth during every bite.
So this February, take pride in your pets slobbery smile. Buy a tooth brush, some chicken flavored toothpaste, a fun chew toy, and watch the smile on your pets face shine!