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Show your pet some love during Pet Dental Health Month

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Show your pets how much you love them this Valentine’s Day by taking them to the veterinarian for a dental exam! February is Pet Dental Health Month, and while a teeth cleaning may seem like an unusual gift for your furry friend, it could save your pet from a prevalent source of pain and disease.

Like humans, pets develop plaque and tarter that cause tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, most dogs and cats have signs of periodontal disease by age three.

Although there are treats that are specially formulated to reduce plaque buildup and bad breath, the only way to prevent tooth and gum disease is to brush your pet’s teeth regularly and take it to a veterinarian for a cleaning.

In addition to causing pain and discomfort in your pet’s mouth, poor dental health can cause a bacterial infection that can spread to other parts of its body -- including the heart, kidney, and liver.

It is important for dog and cat owners to check their pet’s mouth regularly. Although your pet may resist, looking for signs of decay and infection like puffy red gums, yellow teeth, and bad breath can save your pet future suffering as well as save money if an issue is caught early on.

Pets, especially cats, can be good at hiding health issues. So even if they “act healthy” and don’t seem to be in distress, many are suffering from dental issues that cause them pain and discomfort. You’ll be amazed at the difference in your pet’s behavior once dental problems are addressed and they are feeling better.

For more pet tips, visit the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society Resources for Pet Owners page at www.davms.org.

For regular pet health updates and breaking news, “Like” the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society on Facebook.

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