July is Pet Dental Month at Summeridge Animal Clinic! Just as it is for us, quality dental care is a cornerstone to your pet’s overall health and well being. The impact of a healthy mouth goes a lot further than many pet parents realize. Read on for tips on keeping your furry companion’s teeth and gums healthy in order to prevent serious problems down the road.
Pet Dental Disease 101
Approximately 85% of pets over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease. For example, that “doggy breath” that you’ve come to know, but probably not love, is usually the first indication that something is amiss in Fido’s mouth. Besides tooth loss, dental disease can affect your pet’s immune system, kidneys, heart and other organs and could lead to conditions such as diabetes and cancer.
Symptoms of dental disease in pets include:
- Foul breath
- Excessive drooling (especially in cats)
- Broken or worn teeth
- Discoloured teeth
- Red, inflamed gums
- Loose teeth
- Pain while eating
- Behavioral changes
Why Veterinary Dentistry?
Dentistry in veterinary medicine is about much more than maintaining those pearly whites. Pet dental care also focuses on preventing pain and infection in pets, which will lead to a healthier and longer life. Fresh breath and bright smiles are the happy side effects!
Regular dental checkups are a vital part of your pet’s overall wellness plan. Besides examining your pet’s mouth at his or her yearly checkup, we also offer professional cleanings and dental radiology.
Happy Teeth Begin At Home
Even if your pet is receiving regular dental care at our office, your work isn’t done. There are some simple things you can do at home that will go a long way toward maintaining your pet’s dental health.
Look Ma, no cavities! – Once per week, lift your pet’s lips and take a peek inside his or her mouth for any signs of dental disease. Gums should be pink, not white or red, and should not show signs of swelling. The teeth should be clean and tartar free.
Polish My Pet’s Pearly Whites? – In a bygone era, taking a toothbrush to Fido’s or Fluffy’s fangs was practically unheard of. Today pet dental care is considered a top priority by many pet parents, and that includes daily brushing of your pet’s chompers. Call us for pet-friendly toothpaste recommendations as well as tips on proper brushing technique.
Chew On This – Chew toys not only satisfy your dog’s natural desire to chew but can also help to keep his or her teeth healthy. Chewing on a toy massages the gums and can help keep teeth clean by scraping away soft tartar. Provide soft nylon, rubber or toxin-free rawhide chew toys for your dog and supervise chewing, as your dog may break off and swallow large pieces.
Your pet can’t tell you what’s wrong, so it’s up to you to provide that extra loving care needed to keep your four-legged friend’s mouth and body healthy. If you have any questions about pet dental care or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call.