Pet Dental Health

The Resource for Everything About Dogs


Pet Dental Health

by Jennifer Bailey


Your pet requires specialized dental care from your veterinarian, in addition to care at home from you. By the age of three, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show symptoms of oral diseases. The American Veterinary Dental Society advocates the pet owners to keep track of three basic steps. In case you suspect a problem, take the pet to a veterinarian for a dental exam instead of waiting for an annual checkup. Another step involves removing plaque regularly from your pet's teeth. Finally, schedule regular veterinary checkups as they are essential in helping your veterinarian monitor the progress of your pet's dental health routine.

As a pet owner, you play a crucial role in ensuring your pet's dental health through regular teeth brushing. Unchecked pet dental diseases can not only result in loss of teeth, but may damage your pet's heart, kidneys, liver, and other organs. If your pet will allow, open its mouth and look inside. Look for the warning signs of gum disease which includes bad breath, red and swollen gums, a yellow-brown crust of tartar, and pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth. Seek veterinary care if you observe any of these problems.

One of the most convenient and effective ways to prevent oral disease is feeding specially formulated foods proven effective in fighting plaque and tartar buildup. Canned foods, which tend to stick to teeth easily, should be avoided. The Veterinary Oral Health Council's seal of acceptance appears on products that meet defined standards for plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats. Certain chewing toys are also beneficial to dislodge plaque. It is very essential discuss your pet's specific diet with your veterinarian.

Animal dental care centers are equipped with the latest techniques in veterinary dentistry and oral surgery to benefit your pet's well being and improve their general health. To assist veterinarians and their teams in offering excellent dental care for dogs and cats and educate pet owners regarding the significance of proper dental care throughout their pets' lives, the American Animal Hospital Association has developed dental care guidelines for dogs and cats.

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