Virtually no one likes going to the dentist…but we all know it’s important! Dental care for humans and animals alike is something that should never be ignored. Proper dental hygiene is a critical part of keeping your pet healthy and happy, helping to avoid potentially life-threatening issues that come with dental disease. Want to know just a bit more? Dr. Tressa MacLennan from our Scottsdale location did a quick segment with a brief overview! Check it out:
People brush their teeth because it helps keep their breath fresh, and because it’s important for maintaining their health. These things are true for animals too, but too many pet parents neglect their pet’s dental health simply because they don’t realize its importance.
A National Pet Owners survey found that only 14% of dogs and 9% of cats receive dental care at the veterinarian’s office. Early treatment, regular dental examinations and cleanings, and a home care regimen are key to maintaining your pet’s health and longevity. Don’t make that mistake. Periodontal disease is one the most prevalent diseases in companion animals today. In fact, four out of five dogs over the age of three have some sort of periodontal disease.
Numerous studies show a link between gum disease and serious health issues like heart disease. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, bacteria can enter your pet’s bloodstream from their teeth and mouth, leading to potential infections of your pet’s heart, lung, kidneys, liver, and nervous system. Prevention is the best approach, so regular brushing, dental exams and cleanings are vital.Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth is a sign of trouble, so make dental chews, teeth brushing and regular check-ups part of your routine. Cats need regular dental care as well.
The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines recommend regular examinations and dental cleanings for all adult dogs and cats annually, starting at one year for cats and small-breed dogs, and at two years of age for larger-breed dogs.
So its clear: an annual dental examination is the best way to identify issues before they have a serious impact on your pet’s health. Your veterinarian will observe your pet’s face, their gums, cheeks, palate, and bite patterns to isolate dental health concerns and recommend cleaning and/or treatment. Regular dental cleanings can also make a huge difference to your pet’s overall health. Your vet can help you establish a home-care routine. Make that commitment.
This coming Pet Dental Health Month AZPetVet is offering $50 towards vital dental treatments. Make the appointment today. Click here to find your nearest AZPetVet location.
The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines recommend regular brushing to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Dental examinations and cleanings should be performed for all adult dogs and cats annually, starting at one year for cats and small-breed dogs, and at two years of age for larger-breed dogs. Here’s why:
Periodontal disease can lead to more serious health problems. Numerous studies show a link between gum disease and serious health issues like heart disease. (This is true for people, too) Prevention is the best approach, so regular brushing, dental exams and cleanings are vital.
Four out of five dogs over the age of three have some sort of periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth is a sign of trouble, so make dental chewies, teeth brushing and regular check-ups part of your routine. Our feline friends need regular dental care as well.
Brushing means better breath. Bad breath can be an indicator of periodontal disease in people and in pets. Regular brushing helps keep teeth healthier and breath better, so those slobbery kisses won’t take your breath away.
Decay and gum disease can cause tooth loss in animals. This condition which can be very painful, and cause serious health problems. Regular care saves you money in the long run, and helps prevent tooth loss.
Symptoms of Hidden Dental Problems
Your pets can’t tell you directly that their teeth hurt, so you might not realize they have a serious dental issue until it’s too late. If your pet is drooling more than usual, has bleeding gums, loose teeth, or suspicious looking spots on their gums, make the appointment today.
Oh, those doggy smells. From the routine “Guess what I just rolled in?” to wet dog smell to the truly disgusting and stomach churning whiffs of “What IS that?” – here’s why you need to pay attention to Fido’s funk.
1/ Stinky after a bath or a swim is usually normal – there are bacteria and yeast that live on your dog’s skin that are generally odorless until you get Fido wet. Water releases the full force of the bacteria smell that is normally contained. If the odor persists when your dog is clean and dry, there may be an underlying skin condition. See your vet to be sure.
2/ Death breath – so the days of sweet smelling puppy breath are long gone. If getting up close to your pooch leaves you reeling, it’s something that you need to address. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly to help keep tartar build up at bay. Bad breath can also be caused by an underlying infection in the gums or teeth. It can also be a sign of even more serious health problems like kidney disease and diabetes. Get to the vet, stat!
3/ Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to skin diseases. If you have a Pekingese, Pug, Spaniel, Bulldog, or wrinkly Shar-Pei, there could be all kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms lurking in their skin folds, and the smell is definitely nasty. These breeds are highly prone to developing skin fold dermatitis, so pay careful attention to hygiene. Baby wipes or special cleansers can help you keep irritation and odors away. However, all dogs can develop skin problems due to allergies, hormonal disorders or infections. Best to get checked by the vet!
4/ Smelly ears can indicate an underlying yeast or bacterial infection. If your dog has long droopy ears, or loves to go swimming, they’re more at risk for becoming a bacterial breeding ground. Dogs with allergies also tend to get more ear infections. See your vet.
5/ Foul smelling flatulence – there’s a wonderfully funny children’s book series based around Walter the Farting Dog. The character Walter was inspired by a real dog whose owner fed him donuts and beer – definitely a no no! To date, the 5 book series has been translated into more than a dozen languages, so it’s a global problem. Poor diet and low quality grain-based foods are the most common causes of severe flatulence. If the problem persists, see the vet to make sure there are no underlying health conditions.
6/ Anal glands/sacs. Yes, like you, we’re not thrilled to know that they exist or that they may need expressing, but when anal sacs are full or infected, there is no ignoring the stench. Anal sacs are located on either side of your dog’s anus, and the fluid inside is usually expelled when your dog poops. If your dog is scooting across the floor, or constantly licking their posterior, they’re trying to relieve itching, so their anal sacs need to be emptied. Don’t ignore the problem – if the pressure on the anal sacs is not relieved, the anal glands could become infected or impacted, and as the saying goes, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Your dog’s anal glands can be manually expressed by your groomer or at the vet’s office.
How often do you brush your teeth? Once, twice, three times or more a day? That’s great! Now, how about your teeth brushing for your cat or dog?
If you had to stop to think about it, it’s probably been too long. And lack of brushing your pet’s teeth regularly can lead to other pet oral health issues, like periodontal disease, which is a common gum infection found in pets. It’s estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease. That’s a statistic that is alarming, yet preventable. We’ve outlined three key ways you can help your dog or cat to achieve better pet oral health, making for a happier, energetic animal.
1) Bring your pet to the vet! That’s why we called our website ArizonaPetVet.com – don’t wait for an annual checkup if you’re smelling bad breath or seeing infected gums.
2) Start brushing your pet’s teeth at home and supplement their diet with specially formulated pet foods that assist in limiting plaque and tartar buildup. Look for products that have the ‘Seal of Acceptance’ from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, an organization initiated by the American Veterinary Dental Society to guide consumers. These products meet the standards for limiting plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats.
3) Be regular with your veterinary checkups for your pets. You wouldn’t put off your childrens’ doctor visits, so do the same with your pets. Your veterinarian can monitor the progress of your pet’s dental health routine, and make individual recommendations.
If you’ve not made a vet visit recently, now’s your time to contact ArizonaPetVet.com and see one of the doctors from the Arrow Animal Hospital group for all your pet needs. Call today.