Dental health is the precursor to overall health. Dental hygiene helps ensure unwanted bacteria and fungi do not enter the body and spread to the vital organs. An alarming statistic found on www.pethealthnetwork.com states, “4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 years have some sort of periodontal disease”. This includes tartar build-up, gum inflammation and of course, a lot of pain.
Most pet owners assume their pets do not have oral pain if they are eating- this is not the case. It is hard to differentiate between when your pet is in severe dental pain or if they are very hungry. Your pet eats because they are hungry but every bite is painful if there is a bacterial infection or tartar buildup. There are many preventative measures you as a pet owner can take in order to maintain your pet’s dental health. Tooth-brushing, twice daily (with pet formulated toothpaste) is the most effective preventative measure to control tartar build up. However this has been found inconvenient to the lifestyles of many pet owners. A dental diet is an alternative effective preventative measure that has been clinically proven. These diets include specially formulated kibbles that nutritionally help prevent tartar buildup but most importantly act as a toothbrush. The kibble is made to not break down during the first bite, allowing the cat or dog to work at breaking down the kibble. In turn, this scrapes off tartar that was forming on teeth.
It is always important to see your veterinarian for a dental exam. This can be done during your pet’s annual or bi-annual wellness exam. Our veterinarians can discuss dental diets, dentistry work (which includes scaling, cleaning, polishing and extractions if necessary) and other dental products that can be used to maintain overall good dental health. As your pet ages it is very important to monitor their dental health. This can be a telling sign of other health conditions. Call us today to discuss more about your pet’s dental health at (519) 245-1001!