February is National Pet Dental Health Month and we felt it important to shine a spotlight on this important area of your pet’s overall health and well-being! We’ve laid out a few important and some may say surprising facts about your pet’s oral health.
FACT ONE: MOST DOGS AND CATS WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH GUM DISEASE
Approximately 80% of dogs (70% of cats) will have periodontal gum disease by the time they reach 3 years of age. This disease is certainly preventable and every effort should be made to do so since there’s a chance your pet has incurred irreversible damage by the time they’ve been diagnosed. Ensure your pet receives an oral health exam at least once a year by their veterinarian and maintain regular brushing in between.
FACT TWO: MOST DENTAL DISEASE IS INVISIBLE
Most dental disease is hiding where you can't see it. Invisible bacteria sits below the gum line and can damage the tissues connecting the teeth and jaw. It’s so important to have your veterinarian take the time to do a thorough oral exam once a year.
FACT THREE: NO, YOUR PET’S BAD BREATH IS NOT NORMAL
Many people believe that smelly breath, especially in dogs, is a normal aspect of owning a pet. If your fur baby has “doggie breath” it could be a sign of gum disease or other ailments and you should have the symptom looked at by a veterinarian. Here are other signs your pet’s oral health may not be so “fresh”:
Although brushing your kitty’s teeth won’t be possible there are plenty of oral rinses and dental care toys to help maintain their pearly whites in between visits to the vet!
- Redness of the gums
- Loose teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Broken teeth
- Tenderness around the mouth and/or teeth
- Drooling or dropping food
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loss of appetite/poor appetite
- Weight loss
FACT FOUR: BRUSHING YOUR DOG’S TEETH REGULARLY IS IMPORTANT
The AMVA recommends you brush your pup’s teeth daily, if not at least 3-4 times a week using a soft-bristled brush. NEVER use human toothpaste to clean your dog’s teeth
, opt instead for store-bought “doggie toothpaste” or at the very least, some water.
FACT FIVE: GOOD ORAL HYGIENE CAN ADD YEARS TO YOUR PET’S LIFE
Taking proper care of your pet’s teeth and mouth can add 1-2 years to your pet’s life. If dental disease is left untreated, harmful bacteria can make its way from your pet’s gums and into their bloodstream, leading to a host of health issues! Stay on top of regular oral check-ups and daily, if not weekly brushing to help your pet maintain quality oral hygiene.
TIP: TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuits include particles that paired with regular brushing can help to scrub tartar and bacteria build-up from your dog’s mouth!