Pet Dental Hygiene
Why is Dental Health Important?
Humans love spending time with their pets. We give them scratches, coddle them, and they return the affection! Kisses, nose-boops, head buts, and wake-up calls are how our pets show they love us and while these things are fantastic, the same cannot always be said about their breath. Most pet owners assume that this is all part of having a furry companion, but the good news is that it’s not! Paying attention to your pet’s dental health can eliminate this issue (and much more), assuring those morning ‘kisses’ from your pup or cat don’t knock you out.
Dental health is an incredibly important part of your pet’s overall well-being. Dental disease can cause, or be caused by, other health issues and acts as an important indicator especially as they get older.
Standard recommendation is to have your pet’s teeth checked once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. If your pet exhibits any of the following, make an appointment with your veterinarian to have their teeth checked out!
- Bad breath
- Broken or loose teeth
- Retained baby teeth or extra teeth
- Teeth discoloration
- Abnormal chewing/drooling
- Pawing at mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Pain in/around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling around the mouth
- Changes in attitude/personality
- Brushing – brushing is the most important item on this list, but it is also the most daunting. After all, most animals do not appreciate what you’re trying to do for them here! Check out these videos from the Pet Health Network to learn from a veterinarian how to brush your pet’s teeth – How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
- Dental chews/diets – this is an area you want to pay careful attention to in order to make sure the products you are purchasing will assist in slowing/preventing oral disease. To evaluate a products’ effectiveness, look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of product approval or check out a list of approved products on their website here – Veterinary Oral Health Council Accepted Products
- Dental Toys – This is another area where a product may claim to be effective but have no real effect on your pet’s teeth. Rather than waste money on ineffectual products, ask your veterinarian for suggestions! With Klein’s new VitusVet app you can take a picture of a toy you’re thinking about purchasing and message it to the clinic to ask their professional opinion.
Remember, always consult with a veterinarian before trying something new with your pet. The experts at Klein Animal Clinic are ready to answer your questions, and more available than ever through the VitusVet app (available in apple and google play app stores).