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Five Reasons Why You Should Get Your Pet’s Teeth Checked

Pet Dental Health MonthFebruary 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.

During Pet Dental Health Month, AZPetVet is offering $50 off any dental service. Click here to find a location near you.

Tips For Preventing Pet Dental Disease

golden retriever smiles at cameraPeriodontal disease in pets (and people) can be prevented, treated and if caught early, even reversed. Here are some tips for preventing pet dental disease:

  1. Work directly with your veterinarian to protect your pet against the dangers of periodontal disease.
  2. Combine regular home brushing with veterinary cleanings and dental care to keep periodontal disease at bay.
  3. Brush your pet’s teeth daily with a toothpaste that’s just for dogs. Your vet can recommend one. Regular brushing helps reduce plaque.
  4. 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.
  5. Schedule regular dental cleanings by your veterinarian – at least once per year.

February is Pet Dental Health Month so it’s the perfect time to schedule a cleaning. Click here to find an AZPetVet location near you.

Pet Dental Health Month

Your Pet Probably Has Dental Disease

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.

Find an AZPetVet location near you.

The Importance of Dental Health

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:

How do you brush a cat’s teeth?

When asked ‘how do you brush a cat’s teeth?, cat owners and veterinarians will most likely answer, “VERY CAREFULLY”.

While the joke is good for a small giggle, the better question is WHY you need to clean kitty’s teeth. The answer? Because they’re teeth. They get dirty.

Adult cats have 30 teeth – so there are a lot of places for problems to begin. Regular brushing at home combined with dental cleanings at the vet helps reduce plaque and tartar build-up that kickstarts inflammation and allows disease to creep in.

So, how’s your cat’s breath?

Get up close and personal to get a whiff of your cat’s breath. Is it regular old cat breath (meaning slightly fishy, but not overwhelming) or ‘OMG…I can’t even, oh noooooo…’ breath?

If it’s the first, great – that means you still have time to establish a preventive dental care plan.

If it’s the second – you and your cat have a real problem. Foul breath is the first indication of oral health problems and disease. Make an appointment with your vet. Don’t delay.

Still good? Go a bit further…

If your cat will allow it, gently flip their lip to reveal the teeth and gum area. Look for redness, swelling, bleeding, or inflammation of the gums. You’ll probably see discolorations on the teeth, too. Are any of the teeth chipped or broken? Any of these conditions require professional care.

Call your vet and make an appointment. Don’t delay.

Speaking of appointments with the vet…

All cats and dogs should have an annual health check up. Part of a thorough health check includes checking the pet’s teeth and gums for signs of disease. Sadly, too many domestic cats and dogs don’t get regular veterinary care until they are injured or they show definite signs of being sick.

Remember, your pet can’t tell you their teeth hurt, and cats are notorious for hiding pain. Don’t wait until your pet is clearly in pain or distress.

Not quite convinced?

February is Pet Dental Health Month, so you’ll save $50 off a dental treatment at any Arizona PetVet location. Find the nearest location.