February is Pet Dental Health Month! Keeping your pet’s teeth clean is very important. Dogs and cats can develop some very painful dental issues, which can cause or contribute to other serious health issues. A Roanoke, VA vet offers tips on keeping your furry friend’s choppers healthy in this article.
Brush Your Pet’s Teeth
Brushing your furry buddy’s teeth is a great way to fight off plaque and tartar. This will in turn reduce your pet’s risk of developing periodontal disease, which affects a whopping 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats. Start by just letting your four-legged pal get used to having their teeth handled. Rub their teeth and gums gently, then offer a yummy snack as a reward. When your dog or cat is used to this, you can move on to using pet dental products.
Not all pets will tolerate having their teeth cleaned. If Fluffy or Fido won’t let you brush their teeth, ask your vet for advice on using dental-formula kibble, treats, or chews. Oral rinses and dental sticks can also help.
Offer Suitable Chew Toys
This one mostly applies to Fido. Dogs love to chew, and it’s actually good for them. Chewing will keep your pup’s jaws strong, and also stimulate the flow of saliva. However, on the down side, Man’s Best Friend can crack or break his teeth on hard objects. Ask your vet for tips on giving your pup chew toys.
Have Your Pet’s Teeth Checked
We recommend having your pet’s teeth checked at least once a year, starting at around age one. This can generally be worked into your furry companion’s regular veterinary appointments. Ask your vet for more information.
Watch For Warning Signs
Your pet may not have trouble letting you know that they want a treat, but it will be much harder for them to communicate about toothaches. Keep an eye out for signs of trouble. Some of the most common ones include bad breath; drooling; swelling; visible tartar buildup; bloody or receding gums; and nasal discharge. Your furry pal may also not feel very playful, and may dribble food, take longer eating, and/or lose interest in harder foods or certain toys.
Do you know or suspect that your pet has dental issues? Is your furry buddy overdue for a checkup? Call us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, today!