February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so it’s time to take a look at your pet’s oral health. There are many problems that can grow without a proper dental hygiene routine. Failure to take care of your pet’s teeth can lead to plaque build-up and, eventually, periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can create many issues for your pet. If left unchecked, it can cause them a tremendous amount of pain. Tooth loss can cause a pet to stop eating or not eat enough. It can also cause behavioral changes and other problems.
There are a few warning signs that can alert you to the need to see your veterinarian. These warning signs indicate the presence of gum disease in your pet. You should watch out for:
- Bad breath- your pet’s breath is usually unpleasant, but excessive breath odor may indicate periodontal disease
- Yellow or brown teeth
- Pawing at the mouth
- Loose or missing teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food
The best approach to dental health is prevention. Implementing a sufficient dental care routine can help you avoid these problems. You should take your pet in for annual dental exams. A dentist will be able to check for signs of disease, as well as use anesthesia to perform a deep cleaning of your pet’s teeth.
Similarly, you should get your pet accustomed to having their teeth brushed. Using lots of treats can encourage your pet to be patient with you brushing their teeth. Ideally, you should brush their teeth daily. Human toothpaste is not safe for pet consumption, so ensure that you are using toothpaste specifically formulated for your pet.
Taking proper care of your pet’s dental health can save them a great deal of pain and improve their quality of life. To learn more about how to care for your pet’s teeth, or to schedule a cleaning for your pet’s teeth, contact us at Borrett Animal Hospital today!