February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so now is the time to make sure you are keeping up with your dog’s or cat’s dental care as a part of your regular pet care routine. Unfortunately, this regime is often neglected by pet owners while handling other responsibilities. Here’s why dental care is crucial for dogs and cats, and what you should be doing to keep them healthy.
Why It Matters
Dogs and cats are susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease just as people are. While they don’t require the same level of preventive care — there’s no need to brush and floss your pet’s teeth twice a day — they do need regular dental care to keep their pearly whites healthy.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a common dental condition in dogs and cats. It’s a result of plaque that hardens into tartar on the teeth, which is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These organisms eat away at the gums and the teeth, leading to a lot of pain, decaying teeth, and bone loss.
Dental pet care at home is essential. Brush your dog’s or cat’s teeth once per day or every other day. Starting when they’re young will make it easier for them to get used to the process. Chew toys, such as bones, can also be good for their dental health by scraping off plaque as they chew.
Take your animal to the animal hospital at least once a year so a vet can inspect their teeth. They may recommend a teeth cleaning every so often, which involves putting your pet under a general anesthetic and cleaning their teeth or handling other fillings and repairs as needed.
The health of your pet’s teeth is a crucial part of their well-being. If you have not yet brought your pet in for an annual checkup, contact Elyria Animal Hospital at (440) 365-3818 to schedule your appointment. They have a caring team of professionals ready to provide the highest level of pet care for your cat or dog. They can handle everything to keep your pet healthy and happy, from dental services to pet laser therapy. Visit them online for more information.