According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, “more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats develop periodontal disease by age 3.” This is a common ailment that plagues our pets since we rarely remember that, just as our teeth need regular brushing, so do Fido and Fluffy’s. Signs of gum disease are brown and yellow tarter build-up, red or inflamed gums, and stinky breath according to the Pet Dental Health website. It is normal for dogs to have bad breath, but if it gets to the point where you no longer want doggie kisses, it might be time to have your veterinarian examine your pup’s chompers. In fact, regular dental exams with your veterinarian are vital to maintaining proper dental health. In addition, it is important to invest in your own canine and feline dental regime.
Begin by introducing your pet to the taste of toothpaste by allowing them to lick it off your finger. Pets have their own specially formulated toothpaste that blends the taste of yummy flavors appealing to cat and dogs, such as beef and cheese. Human toothpaste will only upset their stomachs. When they begin to accept the taste and texture, try putting it on a small toothbrush, piece of gauze, or a finger toothbrush and scrub gently on each side for 30 seconds, or as long as your dog or cat will allow. Ideally, you should make this a daily habit that coincides with your own dental health routine. If your pet resists your efforts, don’t despair. Other options include anti-plaque water additives which can be diffused in your pet's water bowl, oral hygiene gels, dental chew toys, and crunchy treats and bones that all help to prevent plaque build-up. Just pick up a few of these products at your pet’s next visit to Morris Animal Inn!
A dog with pearly whites is a healthy dog indeed. Before your pet’s dental health deteriorates, commit to a plan that will keep everyone smiling.