February is National Pet Dental Health Month
Have you noticed that your pet has stronger-than-usual bad breath? Or has your pet been off their food and you can’t figure out why? Chances are that their teeth are causing problems in the form of plaque, periodontal disease or a tooth is failing. Pets suffer from issues that affect their teeth the same as humans and the symptoms can be just as painful. Oftentimes, pet owners are unaware there’s a problem brewing until it becomes obvious. February has been designated National Pet Dental Health month to encourage people to bring their pets to their local veterinarian and get their teeth cleaned.
And, in celebration of National Pet Dental Health month, Blue Sky Vet Clinic is offering $50 off of pet dental cleaning services throughout February.
Reasons for Taking Care of Your Pet’s Teeth
Dental care for your pet is an important part of keeping them healthy and comfortable. Periodontal disease, retained baby teeth, worn teeth and painful tooth loss are all reasons to keep up with cleaning the gums and teeth of your pet. You give your pet a comfortable life when you maintain their teeth and prevent painful issues from taking root.
Animals are known for suffering in silence and making it difficult for their owners to determine if something’s wrong. That goes for teeth problems, too. A pet can hide the fact there’s a serious issue in their mouth until it’s well advanced and harder to treat. Bringing your pet into the vet for a dental every February makes it easy for you to stay on top of existing issues or discover if there’s a problem brewing and take appropriate action.
Keeping Your Pet’s Teeth Clean at Home
You should maintain the work that the veterinarian started by brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular schedule. Yes, that includes cats if you’re able to get them to accept a cleaning. Dogs and cats should be cleaned two to three times a week with appropriate toothpastes and brushes.
The best approach to teaching your pet to accept the toothbrush is to work slowly and gently with their mouth. Mild restraint is fine as you don’t want a stray tooth in your hand, but don’t try to hold your pet down. If they resist strongly, let them go and start over on another day. Avoid turning the act of brushing teeth into something that’s unpleasant. Take breaks, don’t try it every day, and do it when your pet is in a relaxed state. You want the experience to be a mild inconvenience at the worst for your pet.
Don’t use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt on your pet’s teeth. Use toothpastes that are designed specifically for animals and come in flavors that pets like such as beef, poultry, malt, and seafood. Make sure to use a toothbrush that’s the right size for your pet’s mouth and has the appropriate bristle hardness. Cats need softer bristles as a general rule while dogs are more flexible. If you can’t get your pet to accept a toothbrush, you can use a finger toothbrush that goes over your fingertip and gives you more control over the teeth cleaning action.
Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy has multiple benefits in the form of avoiding periodontal diseases, keeping up with aging teeth, and keeping their breath fresh. Knowing that February is National Pet Dental Health Month helps you plan ahead by making an appointment with the vet and getting your pet’s teeth taken care of.