Brush the Day Away!

In case you have not heard us say it before, dental care for your pets is essential for their overall health and well-being! Just like it is important for you to get your teeth checked at least once a year, it is the same for your pets. Why is this so important? Dental disease affects up to 80% of animals three years and older. These diseases, though harmful in their own right, can also lead to other serious health issues. Preventative care of your pet’s teeth can prevent high dental procedure costs in the future.

Do you know how many teeth your furry friend has? By the time your cats have their permanent teeth in; they will have 30 chompers that you need to help them keep healthy. For dogs, it is a whomping 42! That is a lot of pearly whites to help keep clean!

The earlier you start dental care, the easier it will be for you and your pet. Starting at a young age, owners should get their pets used to the touching and cleaning of their mouths. Over time, it will become easier and easier, until eventually it will become routine. When your pets are young, you will want to make sure that their deciduous teeth have come out and their permanent ones have come in with no problems. Your veterinarian will also check for any bite issues or jaw issues.

Once your pets have their permanent teeth, it is important for you to help keep them healthy and clean. There are many ways that you can do this. Talk to your veterinarian, who will be more than happy to give you a lesson in canine or feline teeth brushing. Be sure to use toothpaste that is specifically made for dogs and cats. DO NOT use human toothpaste! The ultimate goal is to be brushing their teeth every day (or at least every other day). Though this may not be easy at first, and they will probably resist, repetition will get them used to it.

You can also talk to your veterinarian about specific foods that can help maintain healthy teeth and gums. There are a variety of dental treats that you can use. Again, speak to your veterinarian and they can point you in the right direction.

If your pet is older and you have not been keeping up a good dental regimen with them, do not worry. It is not too late to start! The first thing you want to look for is the presence of any dental issues. Many times, bad breath can be an indicator that there may be a problem. Drooling, discomfort when eating (or not eating all together) and reluctance to play with toys can all be signs that your pet has a dental issue.

The best thing to do is book a dental exam and cleaning with your veterinarian. At the appointment, you can discuss specific ways to help ease your cat or dog into daily brushing and other maintenance. In the end, it is all about being proactive. The more you do by the way of maintenance, the less you will have to worry about dental disease causing pain and health problems for your pet!

By on February 7th, 2014 in Pet Care

What Lovely Teeth You Have!

We have all been there, you are sitting quietly on the couch watching a movie when you feel it… warm breath on your face as your faithful companion sits next to you looking for a little attention. A tender moment; interrupted only by the fact that you seem to be losing consciousness due to the noxious fumes coming out of Sparky’s mouth.

You might think that this is nothing to worry about. All dogs (and some cats) have bad breath, right? Not so fast. There can be many reasons behind chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis) in your pet. Bad breath can result from dental or gum disease, a build up of bacteria in the mouth, lungs or gut or larger issues such as gastrointestinal tract, liver, or kidney problems.  Whatever the cause, persistent bad breath is not something to take lightly.

If you have noticed that your beloved pet has been having bad breath issues, the best thing to do is to contact your veterinarian. They can help you to pinpoint the cause of the problem. They may want to do an examination or go through a list of possible causes to help shed light on what is causing the bad breath.

Once you have determined the cause of the odor predicament, your veterinarian can help you to decide the proper course of treatment. However, before you even get to that stage, there are things you can do to help prevent the problem from rearing its smelly head.

First, remember that just like humans, both dogs and cats need dental checkups. Proper dental care is essential for keeping your pet’s mouth clean and healthy. Plus, lack of dental care can lead to a whole host of other issues. An ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure in this case.

Second, the brand of food you feed your pet is important. High quality, easily digestible food is best. There are also doggy and kitty treats that can help keep teeth clean and breath smelling pretty.

Third, brush your pet’s teeth daily. Many people laugh at this, but you brush your teeth every day, right?  Well, Sparky and Fluffy need theirs done too.  But remember to only use toothpaste made for pets!

Finally, remember that if your cat or dog has a very sudden change of breath, contact your veterinarian immediately.

We promise that it is far more enjoyable to cuddle with a sweet smelling pet watching that movie!

By on October 3rd, 2013 in Pet Care