How many of you out there have a pet? Raise your hand. Whoa, that’s just about everyone! Pets are a huge part of our lives and we love them like family members, which means that we provide them with more than just a place to sleep and an occasional bowl of grub. We give them a safe and loving environment, lavish them with attention, teach them, and maybe even buy them a sweater or two for the winter (okay, we’re pretty sure they don’t like the sweaters, but we do!).
Today, we are also more conscientious of our pet’s health and dental care needs, and since February is Dental Health Care Month for pets, too, we thought we’d give you a heads up on how to handle your furry family member’s toothy needs.
Dental Disease and Your Pet
Fido and Patches need regular dental care just like their humans do. Clean teeth and gums keep dental disease at bay and provide a longer, healthier life. Most dogs and cats will develop dental disease by the time they are three years old, and warning signs to look for include bad breath, a sensitive mouth, difficulty chewing or loss of appetite, yellow or brown deposits on the teeth, bleeding gums, or loose or missing teeth.
Healthy Dental Practices for Pets
Caring for your pet’s teeth is important, and since dogs and cats lack opposable thumbs, they look to you for their dental care. Here’s what you need to know:
- Clean! Make time a few days each week to brush your pet’s teeth- your vet can show you how.
- Ditch the table scraps! Choose a tartar and plaque reducing pet food.
- Fetch! Offer plaque-reducing treats and toys.
- See the Doctor! Keep regular veterinary checkups and ask for recommendations about your pet’s oral health.
Good oral health for your family pet means a better breath and a better quality of life. Now that’s news you can use! More information on your pet’s well-being is available at www.spca.com.