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You and your pet have many things in common - one of which is the need for proper oral hygiene. Without it, your pet could be in pain and you would not know it. Help prevent periodontal disease in your cat or dog by following these ABC’s of Dental Health Care.
Always check your pet’s mouth.
Some of the signs that your pet may be experiencing mouth or tooth pain may include:
Difficulty/eating/reluctance to eat
Swelling/Redness of gums
Tipping/Tilting the head when eating
Refusing to eat hard foods
Change in mouth odor
Brush those teeth.
Getting dogs and cats used to having their teeth brushed should ideally be started when they are young. However, there are always ways to make the experience pleasant if you have an adult dog or cat. Be sure to use toothbrushes and toothpastes made especially for pets.
Human toothpaste contains fluoride, which can be toxic in large amounts. Be gentle when brushing, taking care to get the insides and outsides of all teeth. This should be done 2-3 times a week. To get your pet used to it, try using gauze wrapped around your finger and dipped in tuna water for cats and bouillon for dogs.
Check ups by your veterinarian.
Dental care is important to your pet’s overall health. By the time they are three years old, 70% of dogs and cats show signs of gum disease. Too much bacteria in the mouth not only results in bad breath but it can lead to gum disease. The bacteria can also travel throughout the body, causing serious infections in the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.
Your pet should be examined regularly by your veterinarian. A professional dental cleaning may be needed to eliminate excessive plaque build- up or to extract infected teeth. For pets, these cleanings are considered surgical procedures because they are performed under anesthesia.
Ask us about a dental care regimen that is right for your pet.