Here are a few tips to keep your pet happy and healthy when it comes to the most common disease affecting most of our pets- dental disease:
1. Don’t Ignore Stinky Breath
Does your pet’s breath smell bad? If so, you may think it’s no big deal, or it’s just “dog breath”, but the truth is, a foul smell coming from your pet’s mouth is the first sign of a potentially serious problem. The odor is usually caused by a bacterial infection called periodontal disease, which affects over 75% of pets over 2 years of age.
2. Know the Facts
Periodontal disease is a progressive and irreversible loss of the structures surrounding the teeth, caused by chronic infection and inflammation in the mouth. If left untreated, it may lead to:
- Chronic pain and abscesses
- Decreased quality of life
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Organ damage (to liver, kidneys, heart valves) from bacteria entering the bloodstream from the mouth
- Adverse behaviors caused by pain
3. Use Food & Treats that also Help Keep Teeth Clean
There are a lot of high quality food and treats that work to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy. We recommend Hills Prescription Diet t/d food and CET Chew Treats to reduce and/or prevent tartar. The t/d diet can be used as a whole meal or as treats added to another food or given at any time. You’ll have the comfort of knowing your pet is getting a nutritious meal or treat with dental benefits.
4. Brush Your Pet’s Teeth Daily
This may seem like an impossible feat and maybe even a little weird to think about but it is necessary to protect your pet’s teeth from decay. It’s best to brush daily or at least 4 times a week, any less and you’re not really accomplishing much. Be sure to use a pet tooth paste and a tooth brush designed for pets. When brushing, be aware that almost all of the tartar is on the outside of the teeth and mouth where you can see it, so you’ll want to focus on that area as opposed to the inside surface of the teeth.
5. Have your Pet’s Teeth Professionally Cleaned
Even with the proper knowledge and taking the right steps to protect your pet’s oral health, it’s important to have your pet’s teeth examined by a veterinarian at least once or twice a year. In many cases (especially after your pet reaches 2 years of age), it’s necessary to have their teeth professionally cleaned. When you have your pet’s teeth cleaned at Longview Animal Hospital, our thorough dental cleaning includes scaling, polishing and a fluoride treatment. We take pet’s oral care very seriously and offer a discount on dental cleaning two times a year – during the months of February and September. So make an appointment to have your pets teeth checked today. You and your pet will be glad you did!