Six Important Facts About Pets’ Dental Health
Smelly breath isn’t the only consequence of poor dental hygiene for pets—it can also lead to major health problems.
Since February is Pet Dental Health Month, it’s a great opportunity to remind pet parents the importance of caring for their pets’ pearly whites. Here are six great reasons owners should add brushing their pets’ teeth to their daily routines.
1. Dental problems start early for pets.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, periodontal disease affects 80% of dogs and 70% of cats by the time they’re three years old.
2. Most disease isn’t visible
Like an iceberg, a majority of dental disease isn’t on the visible parts of the teeth and mouth. Instead, it mostly occurs below the gum line, where bacteria can damage the connective tissue between pets’ teeth and jaws.
3. Chronic bad breath isn’t normal.
“Doggy breath” might be a cliché, but it’s actually a sign of dental disease. Other common signs include red gums, loose teeth, discolored teeth, bleeding from the mouth, loss of appetite and frequent face rubbing.
4. Dental disease can lead to other major health problems.
Not only can periodontal disease cause pain and even jaw fractures, it can also increase pets’ risk of heart, kidney and liver disease if left untreated.
5. The best prevention is simple.
The No. 1 recommended way to prevent oral disease is brushing of pets’ teeth at least three times a week.
6. Prevention can also save you money.
In addition to brushing, experts also recommend taking your pet to a veterinary dentist for regular cleanings. According to Veterinary Pet Insurance, this move can also save you big bucks in the long run. The average claim to VPI for pet teeth cleaning is $170, while the average claim for treating tooth-related disease is $221.