Why Pet Dental Care Matters
More than two-thirds of cats and dogs develop dental disease by the time they are 3 years old, so the time to start paying attention to pet dental care comes when they are still puppies and kittens. One of the first side effects pet owners think of when they consider dental care is bad breath, but if you aren't keeping up on your pet's dental hygiene and dental care from your veterinarian there are many more problems that you may need to face including:
- Loose Teeth and Root Exposure
- Toxin absorption in the blood stream
- Bacteria in bloodstream through lesions, causing
- Heart problems
- Kidney damage
- Joint issues
What Pet Owners Can Do to Help Pets With Oral Care
Pets are family, and many pet owners think of them like their kids, but unlike kids, they can't be taught to handle their own dental hygiene on their own. Pet owners need to help them every step of the way. This starts with tooth brushing. Brush your pet's teeth every day with specially formulated toothpaste for cats or dogs. Human toothpaste may harm them, so do not use. Brushing at least 30 seconds for each side of the mouth is ideal, but what's most important is to keep trying and be patient with your pet while they are getting used to the process.
Safe Dental Chews and Toys
Supplement with the right chew treats. When giving dental treats, look for a seal from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Avoid pig's ears or real bones. Tennis balls, although popular with pets may also be bad for teeth. Non-abrasive balls and toys are a better option such as those made from rubber or other non-toxic materials.
How Our Greensboro Veterinarian Helps With Dental Care
If you haven't been diligent with brushing your dog and/or cat's teeth since they were babies, you aren't alone. Many pet owners miss brushings and some rescue their dogs long after damage has been done. At West Market Veterinary Hospital we are here to help your pet, whatever stage their oral health may be at. In many cases, a good teeth cleaning under anesthesia is a good place to start. In some cases, oral surgery may be necessary as well in order to lessen pain and make the best of a less than ideal situation.
Most often Dental disease is discovered during a dog or cat's annual exam, but it is important for pet owners to be mindful of possible signs of dental issues, including bad breath, pawing of the mouth area, struggling to eat dry food, or general changes in appetite or personality. To learn more, or schedule an appointment, contact us at West Market Veterinary Hospital in Greensboro, NC at (336) 292-4753 to schedule an appointment.