Keeping Pets’ Chompers in Check
February is Pet Dental Health Month and we think it’s a pretty important reminder. When it comes to perfect pet health, most people think diet and exercise are the primary players, but there’s another key contributor – the metaphorical waterboy – and that’s their teeth. Like precious little icebergs, what you see on the surface of your pal’s toofers is just the beginning compared to what’s beneath the gum line. (Chew on this fact: 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three, which can lead to bacteria in their bloodstream and cause organ damage. Yuh. For real.) To help keep your pal’s mouth in tip-tip shape, here are things to look for when your animal opens up and says ahh.
- Breath. You know your pet’s breath isn’t going to smell minty fresh, but if you notice that it’s exceptionally bad or rotten-smelling, they may have an infection in their mouth that needs attention. Don’t wait! The fact it’s becoming odorous is enough of an indicator that the infection is progressing.
- Gums/Gum Line. Healthy gums should be pink in color and sit snugly against the tooth; if you notice redness, inflammation, bleeding, or discoloration make sure your vet takes a look to see what’s going on, as discoloration can be an indicator of poor circulation or other health issues.
- Teeth. Healthy teeth will be white all the way to the gum line and won’t have any chips or breaks. Most dogs show signs of plaque near the gum line, but annual cleanings help tremendously in avoiding its buildup which can affect tooth strength and/or lead to infection.
- What You Can Do. At-home dental care, as well as dental chews, are great ways to supplement a healthy mouth between vet appointments and cleanings. Annual cleanings come highly recommended and most veterinary offices recognize Dental Health Month and offer a discount or package deal.
Did you know teeth were such a big part of your animal’s health? What are some ways you keep your pet’s mouth healthy? Start a discussion and show us your pet’s chompers on our Facebook page.