If you didn't know it, February is Dental Health month for your dogs and cats. Many veterinarians have specials for dental cleanings during this month.
Is it that important? Heck yeah!
FACT: Dogs have 42 teeth!
FACT: over 80% of dogs will have some form of dental disease by the AGE of 2!
FACT: Dental Disease is one of the most common forms of disease reported by veterinarians.
Ignoring your pet's teeth can be dangerous. Very Dangerous. (You noticed I capitalized those...it's because DENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR DOGS LENGTH OF LIFE AND COMFORT) Yes, it is that important.
I always knew that periodontal disease was dangerous. However, it came to be that one day a client came in to let me know her little Miniature Schnauzer would not be in for his grooming because he had passed away. BECAUSE OF AN INFECTION that traveled from his teeth into his blood stream. It affected his liver and heart. He died due to Periodontal Disease.
So you can keep your dog and cat from this painful disease. It doesn't have to be daily. So let's look at signs of Dental Disease.
1. ) Bad breath - it could mean bad gums or teeth
2.) Stained or Decaying teeth
3.) Loss of appetite or difficulty eating
4.) Discomfort when touching the mouth
5.) Excessive Drooling - could mean abscess in gums or swelling
All of these need immediate care with a specialist or veterinary. The problem we have as pet owners is that dogs and cats don't generally show you that they are in pain until it is too much for them to handle. You and I would be on the floor writhing and your dog and cat walks away with a much higher pain threshold.
This means that regular attention to your dog and cat's teeth is imperative. Literally just lifting the gums and looking at your pet's teeth will go along way to heading off the disease.
You may think that crunchy kibble or dog treats will scrape away that plaque and keep them clean. Not a chance. Kibble and crunchy treats generally filled with starches which CREATE a problem. Most dental sticks and treats are not going to do the job either. Raw meaty bones and feeding non-starchy foods are necessary.
I have my dogs teeth examined several times a year by my doggie dentist. I do this often because my dog is 19yo. My dentist comes to my shop each month. She cleans and scrapes teeth on all sorts of dogs and cats. At this point in my dog's lives I am afraid to have them sedated. I love my veterinarian. I trust her. However, she cannot guarantee my dog's ability to survive sedation at his age. I have clients with the same issue. Whether you use a non-sedation dentist or your veterinarian, it is imperative that you keep your pet's teeth as priority if you wish them to live long, happy, loving lives with you.
Melissa & Boatswain (19yo Miniature Schnauzer)