Pet Dental Health Month

by | Feb 9, 2021 | Blog

February is dental health month for pets! Dental health is just as important in your furry pets as it is in you. During dental month, we want to educate owners about dental disease and what they can do to improve their pet’s dental hygiene. Routine dental care is an important way to keep your pet from needing oral surgery to treat infection, but also keeps bad dog breath out of the way of cuddling with your furry friend. Your pet’s teeth should be shiny, white, and clean. Decay and infection can develop under the gumline, where we can’t appreciate it until it gets bad enough that we see dark black/brown tartar building up on our pets’ teeth.

Unfortunately, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will have some form of periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old. Periodontal disease includes gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (loss of bone and soft tissue around the teeth). Early detection at your pet’s annual exams and regular cleanings are critical in preventing periodontal disease, mouth pain, and associated health problems. Bacteria in the mouth associated with periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and be carried to other parts of the body, causing problems in and around the liver, kidneys, and heart.

All pets are at risk for developing dental problems, so it is important for owners to have their pet’s teeth examined every 6 to 12 months by a veterinarian to detect problems early on. Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems at home:

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food
  • from the mouth
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective routine you can do at home to fight off tartar and gum disease between professional cleanings. Brushing your pet’s teeth on a daily basis is ideal, but we know that isn’t always realistic. Just brushing a few times a week with a toothbrush (or fingerbrush) and some enzymatic toothpaste can remove much of the plaque that forms on teeth. Not sure how to brush your cat or dog’s teeth? Ask us the next time you’re in and we’ll show you how.

Did you know that Alpine Animal Hospital has the only board certified dental specialist on the Western Slope? This means that we have the capability and means to treat more complicated dental disease in addition to routine dental care. We also have a variety of dental treats, toothpastes, oral sprays, water additives and different styles of toothbrushes to help make brushing easier for you and more pleasant for your pet. Alpine Animal Hospital offers healthy pet packages specific to your pet’s age that include 20% off prophylactic dental procedures (including bloodwork, general anesthesia, full mouth dental x-rays, comprehensive oral exam and dental cleaning). This discount on prophylactic dental care is available to you all year long, and is not limited to just Dental Health Month.