Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s health care. Left untreated, dental problems can lead to tooth loss, infection, and even organ damage. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about dental care for pets in Gilbert. Let our veterinarians at Anasazi Animal Clinic help keep your pet’s teeth clean so they can live active, healthy, long lives.
Why Does My Pet Need Dental Care?
Just like humans, dogs and cats can get a buildup of tartar and plaque on their teeth. And as we stated above, this can lead to oral infections that cause pain and eventually tooth loss. Even worse, the infection can get into your pet’s bloodstream, spreading to the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs.
How do I know if My Pet has Dental Disease?
According to the American Dental Society, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have oral disease by the age of three. Oral disease can also be an unseen source of pain in many pets. Annual dental checkups with us here at Anasazi Animal Clinic are the best way to determine whether your pet has dental disease, but here are some signs you can look for at home:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling (especially in cats)
- Loose or discolored teeth
- Red, inflamed, or swollen gums
- Pain when eating
- Loss of interest in chew toys
Home Dental Care
Just like humans, dogs and cats need regular oral care at home. Imagine what your teeth would be like if you never brushed them!
- Brush their teeth. Brushing daily is ideal, but at brushing at least three times a week can help prevent dental disease. Never use human toothpaste, as this can be toxic to pets. We know that brushing an animal’s teeth can be challenging, so here are some helpful tips.
- Feed them dry food. Dry kibble helps slow down the formation of plaque on the teeth. There are even foods specifically formulated for dental health. Be sure to ask us about these at your next appointment.
- Check their teeth. About once a week, lift their lips and take a peek at their mouth. The gums should be pink—not white or red. And the teeth should be white, without any discoloration.
- Provide safe chew toys. Never allow your pet to chew on anything harder than his teeth. This includes cooked bones, antlers, rocks, and hooves. These can cause the teeth to crack.
The health and happiness of your pet is our top priority. If you’re looking for dental care for pets in Gilbert, Anasazi Animal Clinic is the right place for you! We offer top-of-the-line dental services for pets, including oral exams, digital X-rays, and gentle teeth cleanings for both dogs and cats. Give us a call to schedule your pet’s next appointment!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/14/2019) Pixaby