Something that can often be overlooked when caring for your pet is the importance of good dental health. While we brush and floss our own teeth daily, we may not think too much about caring for the teeth of our cat and dog friends.
Dental care is just as important for animal health and wellbeing as it is for humans. In fact, dental disease is one of the most common health problems for pets. Poor dental hygiene, poor mouth conformation and tooth aches can have a serious impact on your pet’s behaviour, mood and overall health.
Let’s look at how you can focus on providing proper dental care for your pet and help keep their teeth and gums in top condition.
Healthy Food for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Diet plays a large role in dental health for animals, as chewing and gnawing on certain foods can help remove plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth. Some of the dental diets now available are as effective as brushing your pets teeth daily.
Talk to your vet about creating a diet that will assist in maintaining good dental health for your cat or dog.
Check for Signs of Poor Oral Health
Make sure you regularly inspect your pet’s teeth yourself to see if there are any noticeable changes or signs of damage. Problems with oral health generally start with a build-up of bacteria that causes plaque, which leads to tartar and tooth decay.
Check your cat or dog’s teeth for symptoms of tartar or decay, such as yellow or brown marks, or holes. Other signs of poor oral health that can lead to dental problems include:
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating or chewing
- Loose teeth or teeth falling out
- Bleeding gums
- Increased dribbling/drooling
- Pawing at mouth as though painful
Catching these signs early can save your pet’s teeth and gums. You’ll also be helping their health overall, as dental problems can lead to problems in other organs including the liver, kidneys and heart.
Regular Check Ups and Preventative Healthcare
Preventative healthcare is a veterinary approach that promotes regular health checks, vaccinations, dental care and nutrition as a way to keep your pets as healthy as possible. This can significantly reduce the need for emergency treatments or surgeries, including dental – which can be very expensive for pet owners!
With regular visits to your veterinarian, he or she will be able to note any changes to your pet’s mouth, teeth or gums, and detect any potential problems. This allows cats and dogs to be treated sooner rather than later, increasing their comfort and overall health and saving you money further down the track.
Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital offers a range of affordable wellness packages that provide regular preventative care for the health of your cat and/or dog, including dental checks. Contact the vet team for more information or to book an appointment.