Happy National Pet Dental Care Month, everyone!
I know this month might seem like one of the sillier holidays, but pet oral care is actually extremely important! Most pet owners tend to forget about regularly checking their puppy’s gums and teeth. Never fear! I’ve rounded up several helpful hints for keeping your dog’s choppers in tip-top shape!
Worst extremes of neglected dental care
“But Lisa,” you may be saying to yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen if I don’t brush Sparky’s teeth every so often? Most animals in the animal kingdom aren’t awarded that luxury, and they’re fine!” It may not seem like it judging by the way our dogs lick and nibble on everything, but dogs’ mouths are the doorway of their overall physical health. What your dog puts into his body affects his body for better or worse—keeping his ingestion entry point clean is just as important as the rest of him!
Neglecting dental and oral care could lead to gingivitis, periodontitis, and periodontal and/ or gum disease. When left untreated, either disease can adversely affect your pet’s quality of life, as the effects can be extremely painful, hard to reverse, and prone to infection. In some scenarios of prolonged neglected care, bacteria from infected mouths can even cause heart, liver, or kidney complications.
Warning signs of poor dental care
The following are signs that your dog may have a dental or oral issue. If your dog has been exhibiting one or more of these symptoms, please consult your veterinarian:
—Sudden bad or worsening breath
—Loss of weight or appetite
—Noticeable Discomfort or resistance from dog when owner touches dog’s mouth
—Tumors in the gums
—Cysts under the tongue
—Loose or missing teeth
—Dropped food or inability to keep food in mouth or chew completely
What can I do about my dog’s dental care?
The most critical step is to just be cognizant and consistent about caring for your dog’s choppers. You can start today by scheduling a dental exam with your vet about what she might recommend and follow her lead.
Where can I learn more about proper dental care?
There a zillions of great resources on keeping your pup’s pearly whites, well, pearly and white! Here are a few great links:
The American Veterinarian Medical Association talks more about pet dental month and provides some great resources on how to care for your pup’s pout:
Need tips on brushing your dog’s teeth? Look no further than DogTime’s extensive how-to and link to a vet’s video:
Still need help? Check entirepets.com’s handy guide to at-home doggie dental care:
Finally, Vetstreet.com has a one-stop shop in the latest in pet oral care news