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February Is Pet Dental Month: Importance of Pet Dental Care

February Is Pet Dental Month: Importance of Pet Dental Care



Your pet’s teeth require a little more attention, and Pet Dental Care Month this February is here to remind you of that. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates that most pets show signs of periodontal disease by the time they are three years old.

One of the easiest telltale signs of periodontal disease is bad breath. Granted, pets do not always have fresh breath—but your furry friend’s breath should not be foul enough to make you vomit. So if your pet's mouth is keeping the two of you from cuddling, he or she could be having periodontal disease.



What Is Periodontal Disease?



Periodontal disease is a sore illness that develops when plaque, tartar, and bacteria accumulate on the teeth and get wedged underneath the gumline. The bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to your pet's liver, heart, and kidneys. Dental disease is the most common chronic illness in dogs and cats and can shorten their lives.



Periodontal Disease Starts Early



By the time they turn three years old, most cats and dogs have some level of periodontal disease. The early symptoms of this infection in pets are stinky breath, red and inflamed gums, and yellow-brown tartar collection on the teeth.


If left untreated, dental disease can cause chronic pain and swelling. To catch the dental disease before it ruins your furry friend's quality of life, add a dental exam to your pet's routine preventive care checkup, which the dentist can do annually.  



Not All Pet Dental Care Products Work the Same



Brushing your pet’s teeth daily will improve your pet’s dental hygiene and help avert potentially costly procedures down the road. But if you are not able to brush your dog’s or cat’s teeth as often as you would prefer, consider using oral health products designed to promote your pet’s dental hygiene.


Look for dental products that the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approve. Dental products that the VOHC does not approve of break easily or are too stiff to bend and can easily break your pet's teeth.



Your Pet’s Dental Care Is Not Just for February



Even though February is Pet Dental Month, your furry friend’s daily oral hygiene practice should continue throughout the year. 


Brushing your pet's teeth daily using the appropriate dental products can help stop plaque from collecting on the teeth and gums.



Visit Your Vet



To celebrate Pet Dental Month, visit your vet for a professional dental cleaning. Also, have your furball’s teeth examined if you notice any of the following issues:


  • Smelly breath.
  • Loose or broken teeth.
  • Swelling in the gums.
  • Trouble closing or opening the mouth.
  • Discolored teeth looking yellow with tartar.
  • Unusual chewing, drooling, or food dropping from the mouth.
  • Trouble eating or reduced appetite.


Sometimes, pets become short-tempered when having dental issues, and any changes in your pet's behavior call for a visit to the vet. 


For more on the importance of pet dental care, visit R Veterinary Group at our offices in Linn Creek, Columbia, or Waynesville, Missouri. You can also call (573) 245-1027 (573) 346-5733, (573) 443-7274, (573) 875-7825, or (573) 774-3337 to book an appointment today.

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