February is coming to a close but it is still National Dental Health Month for a few more days! Go out and schedule that appointment today to save money on your pet tomorrow!
Dental health is important, right? We all brush our teeth (except maybe for those sneaky kids of ours) and try to visit the dentist regularly so why don't we seem to care when it's our dog or cat? After all, they eat far worse things than we do and lick far worse places...and then us-yuck.
Just like us, dogs and cats need regular dental care and ideally we can help that by learning how to brush their teeth and how their dental care should be handled. Some great info can be found here http://www.avma.org as well as an instructional video on how to brush. Our pets teeth are often subject to a little more abuse than ours via their diets and chewing on things like rocks, bones, sticks and our kitchen tables (thanks Kiera!) and we should do our best to prevent this potential damage before it occurs.
Make sure your pet's toys are appropriate for their size, age and dental health. Avoid hard shin and thigh bones from the butcher for your dog, they can easily chip and fracture teeth leading to eventual tooth decay. Check your cats teeth regularly as well, it's relatively easy for them to dislodge/lose some teeth when they are kittens and when they are older. Particularly the tiny incisors (front teeth) between the canines. Teeth that are loose or that have broken off from the gum line may need extraction.
Also, be sure to feed a good quality diet which can help to contribute to good dental health. Some dental formulas are out there but they usually address issues that already exist. Good, balanced diets help to keep your pet's body systems in check and can help to regulate things like the ph or acidity of their saliva to help control bacteria levels in the mouth and the dreaded "doggie breath".
Dental problems can lead to heart problems, pain and damage to the internal organs so be sure to take advantage of all your local veterinarian has to offer. This month AND for the life of your pet.