August is National Pet Dental Health Month and experts are using it as a call to action for all pet parents to make pet dental health a priority.
Pet oral health is vital for the happiness and wellbeing of our beloved dogs, and owners are being urged to ensure they include it in their pets’ health and wellness routines.
It seems, though, that dental disease is still an all-too-common issue amongst Aussie pets.
In fact, in Australia, oral health disease is the most prevalent condition affecting our beloved pets, with statistics showing a whopping 70%-80% of our nation’s cats and dogs suffer some form of dental ailment in their lifetime.
The staggering statistics are a timely reminder for owners because in some cases, dental disease can turn into a life-threatening illness.
But don’t worry, we’ve got expert advice to keep those tails wagging and those teeth sparkling!
Petstock Vet Dr. Tara Morris is here to share her expert advice from brushing routines to professional cleaning, she’s got the insights to keep your pet’s teeth in tip-top shape.
Dental disease isn’t just about bad breath.
The disease – officially known as periodontal disease – is a progressive condition that affects your pet’s gums, teeth, and surrounding bone.
It develops in four stages, with the initial stage being the mildest and most easily treatable. So, spotting it early is the best chance to avoid further problems or complications.
Symptoms can include bad breath, plaque and tartar buildup, loss of appetite, difficulty chewing and eating, and bleeding gums.
It can be extremely painful for animals and, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and significant discomfort.
If you suspect your pet has the early signs of dental disease, seeking prompt veterinary advice and early treatment is crucial.
Petstock Vet Dr. Tara Morris shares her tips for maintaining optimum dental health in our pets:
Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is key.
Use specialised toothbrushes and pet-friendly toothpaste; avoid human toothpaste as it can be toxic to pets.
Dental wipes and fresh breath foam can also be handy, but if you’re thinking of incorporating these products into your pet’s dental routine but are unsure about which products to use, speak to your vet.
These are not only fun but also help maintain oral hygiene as they remove plaque and tartar as your pets play and chew.
Dental chew toys and treats are a great option to consider for pet owners who are short on time.
Aside from dental treats, a pet’s overall diet can also play a role in keeping healthy oral hygiene.
Specially formulated dental kibble can help keep your pets’ teeth clean while they play and chew, effectively reducing the formation of plaque and tartar.
Special dental kibble can aid in cleaning your pet’s teeth, but it’s important to always consult your vet before changing your pet’s diet.
Sometimes, home cleaning isn’t enough.
Once tartar has set and formed throughout the stages of dental disease, it can’t easily be removed at home, so professional cleaning is recommended.
Like humans, it is advised for pets to receive a professional dental clean once every six months to prevent general build up.
As professional dental cleaning is a procedure requiring anesthesia and a prior dental check, be sure to speak to your local vet if you are considering this option.
Dental Health Facts
Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30.
Rabbit teeth continuously grow.
Aggressive chewing on hard objects can break dog’s teeth.
Good dental hygiene can add 2-4 years to your pet’s life.
Pets often hide signs of dental pain.
So, to sum it all up, dental health must be a priority for all pet owners.
Early preventative measures are key to avoiding a lifetime of pet, and expensive vet bills.
As always, it’s important to consult your vet for personalised guidance on your pets’ health.
After all, a healthy smile is a happy pet!