The Problem: Over time, plaque and tarter can build up on the teeth of dogs and cats.  This causes the teeth to be yellow and unattractive.  It also causes bad breath in the pets.  More importantly, the plaque and tarter contain bacteria.  These bacteria can cause gum disease.  When the dental hygiene is bad enough, the bacteria can move systemically into vital organs.

Can Pets Get Cavities? Cavities are uncommon in pets, but the problem is on the rise in the U.S.  Left long enough, cavities can become painful in pets just as they are in humans.  Pets typically do not get cavities because they do not eat the sugary foods that we humans consume.  Vets believe that more pets are getting cavities lately because people are feeding sugary treats.  A good way to help protect your pet from cavities is to only feed treats designed for your type of pet (meaning dog treats for dogs and cat treats for cats).

Bad Breath is Not Natural For Pets: Many people believe falsely that pets just have bad breath because they are animals – especially dog owners.  This is not true.  Bad breath results from harmful bacteria growing in your pet’s mouth.  You may find that simple measures such as tooth cleaning food or tooth cleaning treats will fix the bad breath problem as well as protect your pet’s health.

Can Pet Food Make a Difference? Some research has suggested that hard food is slightly better for dog and cat teeth than soft food.  Science Diet® has developed a line of dog food that keeps teeth clean very effectively.  It’s called Science Diet TD™.

Preventive Measures: You have a number of options for protecting your pet’s teeth.  An easy option for dogs is the teeth-cleaning treat.  Healing Springs Animal Hospital enthusiastically recommends Greenies®. These green, tooth-brush-shaped dog bones clean your dog’s teeth while the dog chews them.  Dogs love them! They are a little pricey, compared to normal dog bones, so Greenies® might serve as a weekly treat for many people.  Other dental hygiene strategies include tooth brushing at home and a professional cleaning at Healing Springs Animal Hospital.  If you want more information on what you can do to protect your pet’s teeth, check out the following announcement on Healing Springs’ Dental Clinic for Dogs and Cats.

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