Animals need healthy mouths to remain healthy and happy animals!
Animals’ gum and tooth tissue react in the same manner as ours when threatened by disease and plaque so that it’s important that we keep up a normal dental hygiene program for their health and well-being.
Examine their teeth and mouth
If it’s possible, gently pull back your pet’s lip and look at her or his teeth (wrigglers may require some help!).
- Would you see yellowish or brown plaque deposits on the teeth?
- Are there some other issues like chipped or cracked teeth?
- Does your pet have very smelly breath?
- Check the gums – are they red or sore-looking?
- Does your pet frequently dribble saliva and drop food when he/she is trying to eat?
If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then your pet needs some attention to his/her mouth. If not, well done – you get a gold star for dental hygiene!
It’s easy to forget your pet’s teeth but dental issues can lead to major health difficulties.
- Infection formed at the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and affect your pet’s vital organs, particularly the heart and kidneys causing severe illness.
Eventually, you’ll be seeing the vet, maybe for dental work under anesthetic, maybe for something more severe – costly and stressful.
Fortunately, good dental hygiene isn’t too hard to achieve by following a similar plan of action to mine:
- Provide difficult (dry) meals. There are many balanced diets available on the market, many designed to aid with dental hygiene and exercise the teeth.
- Use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for animal usage because it froths significantly less, is flavored, and doesn’t need rinsing. Start softly for a few minutes and work as much as a full set of teeth!
- Hard and crunchy treats to help with the removal of plaque and tartar are very popular with pets. My dog loves to chew carrots (great healthy veggies!) And you will find many treats available for helping with great dental hygiene.
- Toys designed to exercise the mouth are great – happy playtime and dental hygiene rolled into one!
- Check regularly for continuous extremely poor breath – not just ‘I’ve been eating something horrible’ breath. This might be a warning sign your pet might have something serious going on. Never dismiss bad breath and mask it with breath fresheners.
- When you visit your Vet for hepatitis boosters your pet needs to have a professional dental vet checkup.
Rabbit and rodent owners, please check your pet’s teeth frequently especially if they’re showing some of the signs above as their teeth grow continuously and your veterinarian may have to shorten them.
If you aren’t convinced, consider it this way. A cat or dog year is equivalent to about five to seven years. If your pet is five years old, this is much like a 25 to a 35-year-old human who hasn’t brushed their teeth go to a dentist!
One critical part of oral and overall health for dogs and cats is regular dental hygiene. However, most pets don’t get the oral hygiene care that they need to keep their gums and teeth healthy.
At our Citrus County, you will discover complete pet dental care service, from basics such as dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing, to dental surgeries and x-rays.
We are also passionate about teaching pet owners to dental health education and also the need for a good at-home oral care routine.
Cats and dogs will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting, as they do not know what is going on. We provide anesthesia to all our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less strain on animals and makes it possible for us to x-ray their mouth as necessary.
Our Citrus County vets give preventive and curative veterinary dental healthcare and operation for dogs and cats. Visit this website for more information.