Pet health dates back thousands of years. In 9000 BC, the first account of veterinary practice was observed in the Middle East, when sheepherders treated their watch dogs for illness. Now, in the last 100 years, concerns over our pet’s oral health have increased dramatically. With this came the establishment of National Pet Dental Health Month during February by the American Veterinary Medical Association to highlight the importance of oral hygiene in pets.
Why is pet dental care important?
Did you know that only 2% of dog owners brush their dog’s teeth on a daily basis despite recommendations from veterinarians across the country to do so? If this is you, it is important to know that a pet’s dental health is just as important as their overall health. Neglecting oral hygiene in dogs can lead to issues like tartar build up, gum disease, bad breath, and other larger health issues like heart disease, lung disease, and kidney disease.
What are some early signs of poor dental health?
Some early warning signs of poor dental health are bad breath, broken or loose teeth, extra teeth/retained baby teeth, discolored teeth, abnormal chewing or drooling, reduced appetite, pain in or around the mouth, and swelling in areas surrounding the mouth.
What are some causes of pet dental problems?
When it comes to your pet’s pearly whites, there are many dental issues they can be exposed to. The most common cause of dental disease in pets is poor dental hygiene; not brushing your pet’s teeth can lead to severe, life-threatening infections as it causes crusts of tartar and plaque to develop along their gums. A few of the most common oral health issues include periodontal disease and fractured teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by buildup of plaque and tartar buildup which can lead to gum infections, broken teeth, bone loss, and other secondary diseases. Fractured teeth can be caused by external trauma and chewing on hard objects or non-bending chew toys.
What can we do to maintain our pets’ dental health?
To ensure your furry friend’s teeth remain in perfect dental condition, it’s important to take extra measures. The easiest thing you can do to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is to make a routine procedure of daily brushing. This will prevent plaque buildup and promote healthier teeth. If daily tooth brushing takes too much effort, you can also give your pet dental treats that maintain healthy teeth. Not only are dental chews helpful, but feeding your pet a balanced diet will also be beneficial in both their dental and overall health. It is also recommended to schedule regular dental cleaning appointments with your veterinary dentist. If you notice anything suspicious regarding your pet’s oral condition, schedule a dental exam or get advice from your vet.