From a young age, we’re told to brush our teeth every day for a nice, healthy smile. Remember your parents asking you if you brushed your teeth? Dental health is just as important for pets as it is for humans. Studies in dogs have shown that periodontal disease is associated with microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys, leading to more health problems for your loved one. It’s not just cats and dogs; we also provide equine dental care.
According to recent studies, 70% of adult cats and 80% of adult dogs show symptoms of oral disease. Bad dental care leads to big exam and cleaning bills later in life, including other medical problems that can be caused by bad oral health.
Not sure what to look for? Keep an eye out for:
- Bad breath.
- Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar.
- Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area.
- Drooling or dropping food from the mouth.
- Bleeding from the mouth.
- Loss of appetite or loss of weight.
To look at your pet’s teeth, simply lift up their lip, bending it up and back away from their teeth. You should be able to quickly notice signs of decay, yellowing, or any other issues that may be present.
We’re often asked, “how often should I brush my dog’s teeth?” The answer is daily. It’s best to get yourself and your pet into a routine where brushing becomes a daily habit and is met without resistance. Be sure to get enzymatic toothpaste for pets and do not use human toothpaste as it could be harmful to them. Please be sure to ask about the dental products we carry in our hospital during your next visit.
When it comes to getting a professional cleaning from your vet, frequency depends on the amount of plaque that has built up on your pet’s teeth. Look for the symptoms listed above and be sure to contact us if you notice bleeding, loose teeth, or your pet is tender around their mouth.
We’re here to help and plan on monitoring your pet’s dental health during their annual visits and wellness exams.