Pet Dental Health Month: Pets Need Dental Care, Too!

Posted on February 11, 2014 in General oral health

2.11 Pet Dental Health Month

Don't turn your nose to your pet's bad breath! Oral health care for pets is just as important as oral health care for humans. With February being National Pet Dental Health Month, it is extremely important to help improve the oral health (and overall health) of your pets.

All too often, dental care is something that is overlooked in our pets. Imagine how your mouth would taste, look and smell if you never brushed your teeth! Pet periodontal (gum) disease can lead to systemic problems when a bacterial infection can spread from the mouth to the heart and heart valves, kidneys and liver.

There are many ways you can help prevent tooth and gum disease in your pet.

• Regularly brush your pet's teeth. Most dogs and cats will readily accept having their teeth brushed with proper techniques and some patience. You can purchase the appropriate products specifically designed for dogs and cats at your local pet store.

• Buy your pets treats and special dietary food that will help minimize plaque buildup.

• Oral rinses or water additives can also help control bacteria and bad breath.

• Reduce the amounts of soft dog treats which can be especially bad for the teeth since they are soft, sticky and full of sugar.

• Discuss a home dental plan with your veterinarian.

For more information on how to take care of your pet's oral health visit the American Veterinary Medical Association's website.