February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so I wanted to talk about the importance of dental hygiene for your pets. We often make jokes about dog breath, but did you know that foul smell could signal a bigger problem. Most people have no idea that ignoring your pet’s dental health could lead to tooth loss, periodontal disease or cause painful infections. In the most severe cases if the infection spreads it can manifest itself into a life threatening condition.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, and encourages all pet owners to regularly brush their pet’s teeth and to see their veterinarian for regular checkups. They published a video that talks about the importance of dental hygiene and also provides step-by-step instructions on how to teach a dog or cat to accept a daily tooth brushing.
Dr. Sheldon Rubin, speaking for the American Veterinary Medical Association advised that “80% of people brush their teeth twice a day, but most of those ignore the dental health of their pets.” He goes on to say, “Dental disease is very common in both dogs and cats and 80% of our dogs and 70% of our cats show some signs of gum disease by he age of 3.”
Periodontal disease has been linked to heart attacks, diabetes, kidney disease, strokes and other life threatening disorders. The best way to prevent a problem is to begin a daily routine for taking care of your pets teeth. So where do you begin;
STEP 1: Schedule routine veterinary appointments: It is essential to monitor your pet’s health and during a routine checkup your veterinarian can help to determine if your pet’s dental health is becoming an issue. Your vet might suggest a cleaning or other options like special foods that can keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy.
IMPORTANT: Don’t wait for your pet’s annual checkup if you suspect a problem.
STEP 2: Begin routinely brushing your pet’s teeth: If your pet has never had their teeth brushed before it is important to introduce the idea gradually. Keep the sessions short and make sure the idea of brushing is a positive one by offering praise and reassurance to help show your pet that there is nothing to be afraid of. If you begin adding toothpaste, it is important to use one designed specifically for pets, because human toothpaste could upset your pet’s stomach.
STEP 3: Avoid table scraps: Understand that it is important to avoid the urge to feed your pet table scraps because they can increase the build up of plaque and tartar, and can lead to other health problems.
STEP 4: Give treats designed to promote dental health: Buffalo Treats by Canine Caviar was designed with your pet’s dental health in mind. A healthier alternative to the traditional chews, Buffalo Treats are Free Range Grass Fed Buffalo, Hormone and Antibiotic Free plus Buffalo have 70% to 90% less fat compared to beef, on average it has 50% less cholesterol. They are extra meaty to provide an extra long lasting chewing to help reduce tarter and maintain your dogs teeth and gums.
We love our pets and keeping them healthy is the most important way to show them how much we love them. Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Neglecting your pet’s teeth will always end with unnecessary costs to correct issues that develop due to plaque and tarter but more importantly will cause your pet undue discomfort.
Visit us on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/caninecaviar to find out more about becoming a part of the Canine Caviar Mobile Pet Club and to post a picture of your pets pearly whites in honor of National Pet Dental Health Month.