February is National Pet Dental Health Month!
Dental care is equally important in pets as it is for humans, yet it is one of the most neglected areas of pet care. In fact, according to the American Animal Hospital Association, two-thirds of pet parents aren’t providing the recommended level of oral care.
Why is dental care important? Bad breath, mouth sores, and loose, missing, or broken teeth can all be avoided with proper dental care.
While these issues may seem relatively minor, they can cause infection that gets into the blood stream, in turn leading to more serious health problems such as heart, lung, and kidney disease.
The Do’s of Dog Dental Care
This is both the easy and cost efficient route for dental care. Taking care of your pet’s teeth on a daily basis, as opposed to a costly annual dental procedure at the animal hospital, is much more pleasant for both you and your pet!
Feed raw foods and recreational bones
Improved dental health is one of the many benefits of feeding a raw diet. Raw pet foods have good bacteria that break down plaque and tartar on Fluffy’s teeth. Recreational or raw, meaty bones encourage your pet to use their teeth to tear, cut and scrape all the meaty goodness off the bone. It’s nature’s toothbrush!
IMPORTANT: Always abide by these safety tips when feeding bones or hard chews.
Brush their teeth
A daily brushing using pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste is recommended. If Fido simply won’t tolerate brushing, Tomlinson’s also offers a natural oral care spray in a peppermint flavor pets love.
Provide chew toys and dental treats
Toys and treats with nubs and grooves will massage gums and scrape teeth as your pet chews.
Anesthesia free dental cleanings
If your pup needs a good teeth cleaning, but want to avoid a serious surgical procedure, Tomlinson’s offers anesthesia free dental cleanings in partnership with K9 Dental Specialist, Scott Blanchard. Learn more here.
Trust your instincts
If you notice mouth sensitivity or a change in your pet’s eating habits, you could be on to something. As a pet parent, you know what’s best for your furry friend!
The Don’ts of Dog Dental Care
Ignore bad breath
It’s true, doggy breath isn’t exactly pleasant. However, extremely foul breath can be an indicator of a more serious issue, like periodontal disease.
Only focus on dental health once a year
While an annual check up to ensure your pet’s pearly whites are in tip top shape is always a great idea, dental care requires year round maintenance. Can you imagine a human only brushing their teeth once a year?
Dismiss warning signs
Trouble chewing, chewing on one side of the mouth, loss of appetite, drooling, redness/inflammation of gums, or loose teeth are all signs of serious dental disease. If you notice your pet experiencing any of these symptoms, a trip to the vet should be in your near future.
What are your pet’s favorite ways to clean their teeth? Chime in over on our Facebook page, or in the comments below!