Good dental hygiene in pets is sometimes overlooked, however it is a very important part of keeping your pet healthy.
If a pet is having dental problems it can affect their overall health. The animal may not want to eat as usual due to pain and inflammation. When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, bacteria will grow and eat away at the teeth and gums. The bacterial infection may not only affect the mouth, it can also affect other areas of the body like the kidneys, heart, liver and joints.
It is best to start dental care at an early age to help prevent problems in the future, however its never too late to start. To check your pets teeth, carefully and gently lift up their lips and have a look at their teeth and gums.
Signs to look out for that may indicate its time for a dental check up from the vet include,
- bad breath
- excessive drooling
- bleeding gums
- swollen, red or discoloured gums
- broken, chipped or loose teeth
- discolouration of the teeth
- plaque or tartar build up on the teeth
- reluctance to chew or eat
- swelling of the cheeks or under the eyes
At some point in their lives most pets will require some form of dental work to be done by a veterinarian. However there are many things that you can do at home to promote good dental health. There are lots of dental products on the market to help prevent plaque and tartar build-up and to assist in maintaining good dental health.
There are toothbrushes and toothpaste for cats and dogs, if you are game enough to brush your pets teeth. There are also products, like Aquadent, that you add to your pets water to help maintain a healthy mouth and gums and reduce bad breath. There are many treats available like Greenies for dogs, that work with the chewing motion to help prevent tartar and plaque build up, freshen breath and reduce gingivitis. There are also lots of chew toys that help to clean the teeth, remove food debris and prevent plaque build-up all while the dog chews and plays. Dental Kongs are a popular choice for dogs and you can hide treats in the middle so it keeps them entertained for hours.
There are also a number of specially formulated foods on the market that are designed to keep dog and cat’s teeth clean, reduce tartar build up and control the bacteria found in plaque. Hills Prescription Diet t/d Dental Health is an excellent feed available in feline, canine and canine small bites.
It is important to not overlook your pets dental health as early intervention and treatment is always best for your pet. If you think there is a problem, you need some advice or maybe your pet is due for a dental check up, take them to see their veterinarian.
To view the full range of Dental Health Products for Dogs available at vet-n-pet DIRECT click here.