Pet Dental Health Month
We are almost at the end of the month, but we wanted to mention that February is Pet Dental Health Month. Awareness of pet dental health has become a hot topic in recent years – much more so than in the past. Folks used to think that giving your dog a nice bone to chew on every once in awhile was enough to keep their teeth clean. Well that’s certainly not so.
The AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association) has many excellent resources on their website, including a quiz to test your knowledge about pet dental health. I was surprised to learn that 80% of dogs have some periodontal disease by age 3! I think that speaks to the lack of education around the importance of dental health for your pets. So let’s try to change that a little.
Our pets can suffer from the same dental care concerns that humans do: tarter, plaque and periodontal disease. Dental disease is progressive in canines just like humans, so lack of care or treatment leads from simple tarter to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can lead to all sorts of problems including:
- Red or swollen gums and bad breath
- Loose, broken and/or yellowed teeth
- Lack of appetite & weight loss
- Excessive drooling
It can even lead to bone infections or jaw fractures. Dogs with untreated periodontal disease are also at greater risk of heart, kidney & liver disease.
The AVMA has produced this video to help raise awareness of the importance of pet dental health. The message is clear – make sure you pay attention to your dog’s teeth!