Chew on This: Pets Need Dental Care, Too

From an early age, we are taught to take care of our teeth because poor dental care can affect our overall health. But, did you know that good oral hygiene and dental care is just as important for your pet?

Just like the mouth of humans, your pet’s mouth is full of bacteria and if left untreated, it can lead to some form of dental disease or worse.

According to Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health 2016 Report, dental disease – any health issue affecting the mouth – including inflammation, tartar, gingivitis and periodontal disease is the most common disease that affects 68 percent of cats and 76 percent of dogs.

Experts agree that frequent dental care should be a part of your pet’s regular routine just like their daily walk/run or grooming.

Introducing a teeth cleaning regimen will be easier the younger your pet is. However, if your forever friend is not fine with you cleaning their teeth, you can source a licensed veterinarian through the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Veterinary Medical Board to clean their teeth or visit a licensed grooming facility that offers teeth cleaning services.

It is important to ask the provider if they use sedation during the teeth cleaning procedure because if your pet has known health issues, sedation could be too dangerous and an alternate method should be explored.

If you opt to clean the teeth of your furry friend yourself, look for specially formulated toothpaste for dogs and cats. NEVER use toothpaste made for humans.  Ingredients commonly used in dental care products for humans can be dangerous for pets.

Finally, bad breath from felines and canines is not unusual but horrible breath may be a sign of something serious.

A licensed veterinarian is the trusted source to maintain your pet’s dental and overall heath.  Find one near you via DCA’s license search here.

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