You have heard your veterinarian say over and over again that Fido’s bad breath is not just a bad case of halitosis. Every year you take Fluffy in to get her annual wellness exam they note that she could really use a dental. Your veterinarian is not just trying to make a couple of hundred dollars off of you and your pet. They are wanting to prevent future problems from occurring in Fluffy’s health. Follow the below steps to prevent your dog or cat from having dental disease-causing other issues.
It can be easy to say no to annual exams. You may think an extra $150 for your 3-year-old pet is simply a waste of time and money. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 70–80% of cats and dogs have developed periodontal disease by the age of three! Knowing what steps to take at the first signs of periodontal disease can help to prevent any further damage to your pet’s mouth and teeth.
Brushing your pet’s teeth especially a cat is not the easiest task to perform. However, if your pet allows, it is the number one most effective way to prevent periodontal disease. If brushing every day is not an option a few times a week will still be beneficial. Ask your veterinarian or a veterinary technician to show you how to brush your pet’s teeth. If brushing is not an option at all then supplements and treats are another great way to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
Treats and Supplements
Dental treats and supplements are not the first line of defense in pet dental health, but it is definitely better than nothing at all. Viera Petworks, PetSmart, and even Amazon.com carry tons of different dental health products. These products may be a chew toy, dental chews, a specific dry dog or cat food, or a water additive. Your veterinarian can give you a list of specific brands of products that they recommend.
One of my favorite products is Young Living’s Animal Scents Dental Pet Chew. I have been using Young Living Essential Oils for my entire family since 2014 and started using the Animal Scents products in 2016 when we adopted our first dog, Penny. They also make cat treats that are both healthy and yummy for your favorite feline.
Regular Dental Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are very important to your pet’s overall health. If a pet has periodontal disease it can lead to anorexia from a painful mouth. It can also be as severe as causing potential heart murmurs due to the bacteria from the gums getting into the bloodstream.
The longer bacteria is allowed to be in the bloodstream the more damage it can do to the heart. When a dental cleaning is performed by your veterinarian or veterinary technician plaque and tartar are not only cleaned off the surface of the tooth. Plaque and tartar are also removed from below the gum line. This is the most important part of the dental cleaning. Below the gum line is where most bacteria live and cause the most harm to your pet.
Every pet needs an annual exam for a whole list of reasons. Having an annual oral exam will give you a better indicator as to what kind of at-home dental care is appropriate for your pet. Take this quiz created by the AVMA to test your knowledge of pet dental health.
Schedule your pet’s annual exam today!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. In 2016 she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR and committed to ongoing training and education. She leads a team with diverse backgrounds who are all animal-loving pet care professionals. Melanie is the mother of two amazing humans, two small pups and a witty African Grey parrot and enjoys volunteering, reading, swimming, hiking, traveling, grilled cheese sandwiches, and naps.
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