February is Pet Dental Health Month, so if you haven’t made an appointment yet, it’s time. Here are five good reasons why you should get your pet’s teeth checked.
1/ If you’re like most people, you brush your teeth at least twice a daily because good dental care is essential to maintaining good health. But did you ever stop to think that your pet’s teeth need brushing, too? It’s best to begin when your pet is young by making it a regular part of your pet’s grooming routine. Your veterinarian can demonstrate proper techniques and recommend pet-friendly toothpastes.
2/ Animal lovers know there’s nothing quite like puppy or kitty breath. By the time their breath get a bit noticeable – and not in a good way – dental disease has gotten its first stronghold. In fact, by age three, nearly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of dental disease.
3/ Pet dental disease could be a heartbreaking and expensive road leading to lost or broken teeth or even more serious problems. In fact, dental disease in pets has been linked to heart disease and other serious health conditions. The good news? Pet dental disease is preventable. With regular cleanings and veterinary exams, dental disease is also potentially reversible.
4/ Full grown cats have 30 teeth. Adult dogs have 42 teeth. In some cases, retained baby teeth can also cause problems. Regular veterinary care and routine dental cleanings can catch these issues early before they lead to more serious conditions.
5/ Remember, pets are masters at hiding pain. It’s part of their survival instinct. Changes in behavior like hiding, excessive drooling, or trouble eating hard kibble can signal dental problems like cracked or missing teeth. If you notice these or other behavior changes, make a veterinary appointment for a check-up.
February is Responsible Pet Owner Month, so it’s a perfect time to learn about ways we can all become better pet owners. Fur, fish, feathers or our pets need some key things from their people family members. Being a responsible pet owner means you can show your pets love in a variety of ways .
TRAINING: Pets require firm boundaries and training. Puppy training classes followed by advanced training classes can be fun for your pup who just wants to please you. Regular training helps dogs grow into good boys and girls and canine community citizens.
KEEP THEM SAFE: Always secure pet tags, micro-chips, plus any required licenses and registrations. Check your pet’s tags, licenses and microchip registration information to be sure all contact details are correct. If your pet isn’t microchipped, get it done ASAP.
GOOD NUTRITION: Younger pets will always need more frequent meals. No matter what the age of your pet, you’re going to want to feed them the best foods possible. Always read the Ingredients label and check that it’s been manufactured recently. The first ingredients should alway include some form of named animal protein like beef, chicken, lamb, or fish. Caution: avoid ‘meat by-products or poultry by-products’ as these are usually manufactured from low-cost parts that could come from any number of sources. If a listing includes ‘meal’ – a named type such as beef meal or chicken meal is better than ‘meat meal’. Food formulated for specific animals and different life stages will usually include added essential vitamins and minerals derived from legumes, fruits, vegetables, grains or meat. For those who prefer to leave grain out of the mix by choice or necessity due to diet sensitivities, there are many high quality grain-free foods on the market.
REGULAR EXERCISE: Young dogs often need at least an hour of exercise each day, while some breeds may need more. Age and fitness levels determine how long and vigorous your outings should be. Cats need interactive toys that keep them curious and active. You can also combine nutrition with cats’ natural stalking behavior with special toys designed to hold food or treats.
DENTAL CARE:If a whiff of your pets’ breath prompts you to say “Eeeewwww!,” you’re not alone! Dental disease is one of the most common problems found during annual wellness exams. Left untreated, the bacteria can lead to issues such as gum disease, tooth infection, bone loss, chronic pain and infection of the kidneys, liver and even the heart. Veterinary dental treatment has evolved over the years. It requires general anesthesia so that the teeth can be thoroughly evaluated and cleaned. Dental x-rays are also taken to examine the health of the mouth.
ANNUAL PREVENTATIVE CARE EXAMS: Annual exams are so much more than just vaccines! During the exam, the doctor will assess your pet from nose to tail. The personal attention your pet receives in the appointment allows us to use their current physical condition, the history provided, and our professional experience to formulate recommendations that we believe will help your pet live the best life possible.
Annual wellness exams can help prevent chronic health problems like diabetes as well as common communicable diseases. Pets will receive any required and/or recommended vaccinations and boosters, plus flea and/or heart worm medications. If it’s been a while since your pet has seen the vet, don’t wait. Schedule an annual wellness exam today. Don’t forget to ask about AZPetVet’s FREE Vaccines for Life program.
REGULAR GROOMING: Your pet’s fur, teeth and nails can always use a bit of extra attention. Make sure to regularly groom your pets. Whether you bathe and groom them at home or use one of our experienced pet stylists, your pet will look, feel and smell wonderful. Don’t forget to regularly brush their teeth! Your veterinarian or groomer can show you the best techniques and recommend pet-safe products. Learn more about pet stylists and grooming at AZPetVet.
Periodontal disease in pets (and people) can be prevented, treated and if caught early, even reversed. Here are some tips for preventing pet dental disease:
Work directly with your veterinarian to protect your pet against the dangers of periodontal disease.
Combine regular home brushing with veterinary cleanings and dental care to keep periodontal disease at bay.
Brush your pet’s teeth daily with a toothpaste that’s just for dogs. Your vet can recommend one. Regular brushing helps reduce plaque.
Give your dog dental chews and chew toys – the gnawing also helps reduce plaque formation on the teeth. Look for specially formulated dental chews that have special enzymes to impede the formation of tartar. These are not a replacement for brushing, but will help keep your pet’s mouth clean and fresh.
Schedule regular dental cleanings by your veterinarian – at least once per year.
Pet dental disease is the most common and preventable health condition for pets. They start out with beautiful, shiny white teeth. But by age three, nearly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of dental disease. This can lead to more severe health problems.
Pets need dental care just like people. Without regular cleanings, plaque begins to build up on the teeth. Plaque is a nasty, sticky film caused by bacteria in the mouth. As plaque forms on the teeth, it irritates the gum tissue, causing red or swollen gums. Eventually, minerals in the saliva will harden the plaque into tartar.
Bacteria and plaque build-up on your pet’s teeth that isn’t removed through at-home brushings will mean bad breath and tartar are definitely in your pet’s future. Regular dental cleanings by veterinary professionals can reduce your pet’s risk for developing gingivitis, a painful inflammation of the gums, periodontal disease, and avoid tooth loss. Pets with periodontal disease are at risk for developing heart, liver or kidney disease .
if your pet has bad breath, red or swollen gums, missing, loose or cracked teeth or has experienced a recent change in appetite or trouble eating, it’s time for a trip to AZPetVet.
It’s Walk With Your Pet month! Happily, winters in Phoenix are mild, so there are lots of opportunities to get outside with your pet to enjoy the day. Here are some of the best places to take a walk with your pet:
Get out and explore your neighborhood! Take a walk together before or after work. No doubt you’ll meet neighbors and their pets, too! Be sure to keep close watch on your pooch when they’re meeting other pets for the first time.
Take a trip to the dog park! Phoenix has a wide range of off leash dog parks where your pooch can romp and play with new friends. You’ll meet some great people, too! Dog Parks in Phoenix