The AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association, has declared February as Pet Dental Health Month. The reason is that pet owners everywhere tend to inoculate their pets but fail to pay close attention to their teeth. Unbeknownst to these pet owners, their dog’s teeth are as crucial to their pet’s health as the rest of their bodily functions are. In fact, if your dog develops periodontal disease because of dental health problems, it could lead to systemic issues in your dog’s system.
Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth can definitely save you money in the long run since periodontal disease is the most common health problem that veterinarians observe in pets. If this should happen to your dog and you do not get it treated, it could lead to infections spreading to the heart, kidneys and other various other organs. Those infections could become life-threatening.
The simple way to prevent this is to take care of your dog’s teeth; regular brushing, chew toys, treats and rawhides all help to keep the dog’s teeth clean and get rid of plaque buildup. Many of these products are inexpensive – especially considering the outcome otherwise.
Time and cost are the main reasons that pet owners neglect their dog’s teeth. For many people, it is just so easy to expect your pet to never have teeth issues. If you do not think tooth disease will happen it won’t, will it?
If you are forced to correct dental health issues, it is much more expensive than preventing the issues in the first place. Even though veterinarians warn pet owners, only about one-percent of the pet owners heeds the warning and actually brushes their pet’s teeth.
So how can you tell if your pet is having issues? First and foremost if their breath is very bad, it is a sign that periodontal disease has begun. Then there are other physical signs, like frequent pawing or rubbing their face or mouth, they are reluctant to eat hard foods, their gums are red and swollen and their teeth are brown.
Regular dental checkups are crucial to help maintain your dog’s teeth and help alleviate all of the physical issues that can result from lack of action. If any of the symptoms are detected, it is wise to seek professional help from your dog’s veterinarian as soon as possible.
The AVMA is very serious about communicating the importance of your pet’s dental health. If you have any questions about periodontal disease, visit the AVMA website or view the video that provides step-by-step instructions on pet teeth brushing.