As many pet owners might know, February is Pet Dental Health month. This is simply a reminder to all of us pet owners to have our veterinarian look at our pets teeth. I know that I have been reluctant in the past to take Sammy in for dental care; however, I now realize how important it is to have our cats and dogs teeth cleaned and examined.
Dental care is important in pets
Here is one way to look at it: people (I hope) brush their teeth every day, usually twice a day. Our pets, however, do not. Although dogs and cats rarely get cavities they can get tartar, plaque, and other dental problems. Proper dental care begins with a trip to the vet, who will let you know if your pet needs a cleaning or other periodontal care.
My Vet says I have clean teeth!
Poor dental care can affect your pet’s health
Neglecting your pet’s teeth does simply mean they will have dirty teeth or bacteria build up, it can also lead to other problems if left untreated for long periods of time. There is a chance that your dog or cat could develop an infection which could spread and compromise his or her overall health. It can also become extremely painful for your pet to eat food.
Even though my cat, Sammy, dislikes having his teeth brushed, he has learned to tolerate it. If your pets will simply not allow you to brush their teeth, there are other things you can do to cut down on tartar and plaque buildup. There are treats on the market that contain ingredients and are shaped in ways that help breakdown and prevent plaque buildup. Special treats like dental chews, dental bones, and other products are made specifically for promoting good dental health.
Bring your pet to the Vet for a dental check up
The American Veterinary Medical Association urges all pet owners to bring their pets to the vet for yearly checkups and to brush their teeth regularly. If you have a kitten or puppy, this is a great time to start brushing his or her teeth so he can get used to it. Older animals may struggle with you, bite you or even run away.
Chances are your vet is offering a deal for February for dental exams and cleaning. Check with them and talk about your options for maintaining a dental plan for your pet and what type of toothpaste is safe for your pets.
This article has reminded me to schedule my cat, Sammy, for a dental exam. Now it’s your turn!
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