During the month of February, pet owners like pediatric dentists Dr. G and Dr. Mo are celebrating National Pet Dental Care month! Providing your well-loved dog or cat with good dental care at the vet and at home makes you a superhero to your pet!
Prevent Periodontal Disease in Pets
Good dental care isn’t just for humans. Pets, like people, can suffer the negative effects of periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) if regular dental care is neglected. If you’re not sure whether or not your pet is in danger of the effects of gum disease, inspect his or her mouth for the following symptoms:
- Tartar build up on the teeth and around the gumline
- Chronic bad breath
- Pawing motions around the mouth
- Sore, red or bleeding gums
If your pet shows one or more of these signs, make a special appointment at the vet for your pet’s dental care needs.
Dental Care at the Vet
Spending a little money now for a pet’s good dental care can save you from expensive emergencies later. Since a pet’s dental check up is as important as keeping vaccinations up to date, make an appointment with the vet for a regular exam that includes your pet’s mouth and teeth.
To establish a baseline of dental health for your pet, the vet may take x-rays and clean the tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. Your dog or cat may need to be anesthetized for a short time in order for the vet and his or her staff to do a thorough job. They will then discuss with you how best to take care of your pet’s teeth at home.
At-Home Dental Care for Pets
It’s important to follow up the vet visit with consistent oral health care at home. Make sure your pet has plenty of water as well as a brand of whole food that will help keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy. Choose treats and toys that provide opportunities for removing tartar and keeping teeth healthy without wearing down the surfaces and causing more problems.
Another important consideration for your pet’s dental care is consistent brushing. Use a specialized toothbrush or toothpaste recommended by the vet and start brushing your pet’s teeth daily or a couple of times a week. Avoid using dental care tools that are made for humans as they are not safe and effective for animals. Regardless of when you brush your pet’s teeth, it’s essential to be consistent so that it becomes a habit and avoids future dental care concerns.
Take this opportunity to celebrate with pet owners across the nation and practice good dental health care with your pets. While you’re at it, call Must Love Kids to make an appointment for all of your pediatric dentistry needs at 360-450-2999!