All about pet dental health - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views


August is pet dental health month. Did you know that over 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three years have some degree of dental disease? The most common form of dental disease is referred to as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is infection and inflammation of the periodontium, which are the tissues surrounding the tooth. The disease starts with gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and if untreated, can progress to infection of the tooth socket, destruction of bone and eventual tooth loss.

How do I know if my pet has dental disease?

  • Halitosis (the dreaded “doggy breath”) can be a sign that there are bacteria accumulating in your pet’s mouth, and there may be tartar and gingivitis which need treatment.
  • Discolouration of the teeth and gums.
  • Difficulty picking up or chewing food – pets may drop food or preferentially choose softer foods.
  • Swelling under the neck or sides of the face may indicate swollen lymph nodes or tooth root infections.

What can I do at home to keep my pet’s mouth healthy?

  • Check your pet’s mouth at least weekly. It is useful to get puppies and kittens used to having their mouths opened at a young age, so they are comfortable with being handled around the face.
  • Some dogs and cats can be trained to have their teeth brushed. There are specialised toothbrushes and pet-friendly toothpastes available.
  • Provide treats that encourage chewing – there are a variety of options available. Dental chews such as Oravet and Greenies can be useful.
  • Fresh, raw bones are helpful for some pets – it is important to choose appropriate-sized bones for your pet. Your vet can suggest bones that may be suitable for your furry friend
  • Use dental gels or wipes to clean your pet’s mouth.
  • Have your pet’s teeth checked by your vet every six months. This allows for early identification and treatment of any issues which may be occurring.

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