Dental care for dogs and cats is one of the most overlooked areas of pet health. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), it’s estimated that the majority of dogs show signs of canine periodontal disease by the time they are three years old. Dental disease can result in bad breath, tooth loss, gingivitis, and other health related issues.
Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems. Some of these can include abscesses or infected teeth, broken teeth, and tumors.
Pet owners can brush up on their furry companions’ oral care by following a few simple tips:
• Take your pet to get a comprehensive oral health exam by a veterinarian, at least once a year
• In-home care – ask your veterinarian to suggest regular teeth brushing schedules and to recommend specially formulated foods that help remove plaque and tarter from pet’s teeth
• Be aware of potential problems
What about dental treats?
There are many treats and products on the market that are advertised to help maintain pet oral health. When choosing these treats, it is important to look for the seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). These treats are proven to minimize plaque and improve dental health. Avoid treats that can cause dental trauma such as bones, antlers, pig ears, and hard chew toy.
Perhaps the best way to ensure your dog’s oral health is to visit a veterinarian at least once a year.
Veterinary Oral Health Council Accepted Products for Cats and Dogs. Retrieved August 14, 2020. http://www.vohc.org/all_accepted_products.html