Your pet’s dental hygiene and habits are just as important as your oral health. Without healthy teeth, your dog or cat can’t or won’t chew their food, and they won’t be able to tell you what the problem is. If you work on their oral care every day, they’ll be less likely to have issues.
Your pet’s dental health affects their teeth, gums, and breath, but poor oral care can cause infections in the gums, carrying bacteria that can spread to their kidneys and heart.
What Should I Look For?
Take a good look at your pet’s teeth, gums, and inside of the mouth. There are several signs that may point to periodontal disease. Just like periodontal disease in people can cause serious health issues, so can they in your pets. Look for these signs and symptoms:
- Bad breath. You may think that pets just have bad breath – but it’s often a sign of poor dental health, especially if it has a rotten egg odor. It means that bacteria is in their mouth.
- Red, puffy gums and teeth that begin to turn brown. This can be a sign of periodontal disease.
- Touching their face or mouth. Your pet may indicate that they’re in pain by putting their paws on their mouth or face, just a like a person might while saying, “Oh, my tooth really hurts!”
Incorporate Regular Dental Health Care for Your Pet
First, if possible, you should brush your pet’s teeth every day – this means both dogs and cats. This will help to brush away plaque that can harden, attract bacteria, and eventually turn into periodontal disease. Make it a part of your routine, just like you do with your own teeth. If you have puppies or kittens, introduce brushing slowly but consistently. If you have an older pet, they may not welcome this new part of their schedule, but it’s important to try and reward them when you’re done.
Every day, provide your pet with treats that are good for their teeth. Healthy treats and chews create a healthy mouth because these products help to clean plaque off their teeth.
Don’t forget that your pet will also need scheduled cleanings at a vet’s office, where trained staff can take care of any stubborn plaque. At Animal Medical Hospital of Streetsboro, we suggest that you keep regular, scheduled appointments so that we can treat your pet’s whole health, including oral health. If you have any questions, just let us know. We want to be your partner in your pet’s good health.