We’ve all got that go-to pack of gum or tin of mints that we can turn to in a pinch, right? That’s because – for all of us – having good breath is an important part of everyday life. But what about your pet(s)? What should we do about their breath? Their dental health?
Luckily, February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and so we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of dental health for your favorite little companion.
To start, how much do you actually know about your pet’s dental health? A lot? A little? Wait, dental health is a thing? Well, as you probably guessed, dental health is an important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental issues can cause other health problems, too. In fact, bad breath is sometimes a sign of more serious health issues, and so use this month to get your pet checked by a veterinary dentist or veterinarian.
As with most health checkups, try to make this dental health visit a yearly habit. At home, work on incorporating daily dental health into your usual pet care routines. If you observe especially bad breath (hopefully not!), loose teeth, tartar-covered teeth, discoloration, bleeding, swelling, or changes in your pet’s behavior, it’s probably best to bump up your scheduled checkup to sometime sooner. Perhaps tomorrow?
Random fact: Periodontal disease is actually the most common dental condition in dogs and cats. Another random fact: By the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease. If left untreated. So take a few minutes and see if you notice any signs, and this early detection may end up saving your pet some problems and/or pain down the road.
Just like you, prevention is the best medicine. And just like you, regular brushing is the most effective thing you can do to keep your pet’s teeth and mouth healthy. If you just can’t swing daily brushing, at least try to work it in several times a week. Most dogs accept brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant, so be patient. The rewards are worth it!