Does your best friend have bad breath? Despite what many pet owners may believe, “dog breath” is not just a nuisance – it’s a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Dental health is just as important for pets as it is for humans. How often do you think about your pet’s dental health? Probably not enough. Studies in dogs have shown that periodontal disease is associated with microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys, leading to more health problems for your loved one.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 70% of adult cats and 80% of adult dogs show symptoms of oral disease. Bad dental care leads to big exam and cleaning bills later in life, including other medical problems that can be caused by bad oral health.
Do you think your pet may be included in this list? Here are some things to look out for:
- Bad breath.
- Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar.
- Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area.
- Drooling or dropping food from the mouth.
- Bleeding from the mouth.
- Loss of appetite or loss of weight (this combination can result from
To look at your pet’s teeth, simple lift up their lip, bending it up and back away from their teeth. You should be able to quickly notice signs of decay, yellowing, or any other issues that may be present.
We’re often asked, “how often should I brush my dog’s teeth?” The answer is daily. It’s best to get yourself and your pet into a routine where brushing becomes a daily habit and is met without resistance. Be sure to get enzymatic toothpaste for pets and do not use human toothpaste as it could be harmful to them.
When it comes to getting a professional cleaning from your vet, frequency depends on the amount of plaque that has built up on your pet’s teeth. Look for the symptoms listed above and be sure to contact us if you notice bleeding, loose teeth, or your pet is tender around their mouth.
If you neglect your pet’s dental care, they can certainly develop periodontal disease which often leads to other health issues.