February is a pretty important month for our furry patients. It’s Pet Dental Health Month! Dental problems are very prevalent in dogs and cats. Fluffy and Fido can develop many painful issues, just like people can. In this article from Armitage Animal Clinic, a local Newmarket, ON vet discusses pet dental health issues.
While different pets have slightly different symptoms, there are some common red flags to look for. Bad breath is often a sign of dental trouble. Other warning signs include drooling, visible tartar buildup, bleeding gums, swelling, and sensitivity. You may also notice some behavioral issues, such as a reduced interest in play and changes in eating habits. Grumpiness, understandably, is also not uncommon. It’s worth noting that many of these symptoms can apply to a variety of medical issues, not just dental woes. Call your vet immediately if your pet displays any of them.
It’s important to get your pet’s teeth examined regularly. However, good dental care really starts at home. Brushing is the best thing you can do here. Of course, you’ll need to get your pet on board with the idea first. Start slow, just by touching your pet’s lips, teeth, and gums as you are petting or cuddling them. Offer treats and praise. Keep doing this until your pet is comfortable with the idea. Then, add pet toothpaste and a finger toothbrush or pet toothbrush. Don’t force Fido or Fluff to submit. If they decide they’ve had enough, just let them go and try again another time. Even doing one quadrant of your pet’s mouth a day will help.
In addition to brushing your pet’s teeth, there are also products that can help keep their choppers healthy. For instance, you can add oral rinses to your pet’s water, or sprinkle dental flakes on their food. You can also give your furry friend dental-formula kibble, treats, and, for dogs, chews. Another option is to put pet toothpaste on a chew stick. Ask your vet for specific recommendations. It’s also important to make sure that Fido and Fluffy always have lots of fresh water. You may want to get a pet fountain: many of our four-legged patients prefer to drink running water.
Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. Here at Armitage Animal Clinic, your local Newmarket, ON veterinary clinic, we are here to help!