February is Pet Dental Health Month
February is Pet Dental Health Month. As your pet cannot brush their own teeth or tell you when there is a problem, it is up to you to know the best options for their care - and we can help you with that!
Some breeds are predisposed to dental problems and things like misaligned teeth (which can cause food to get trapped and result in a build up of plaque). If your pet is one of these breeds, learn the signs and be extra vigilant to nip problems in the bud.
The most common cause of dental issues is a build-up of plaque and tartar deposits. Which, if left untreated, can lead to painful periodontal disease (the general name given to any disease of the teeth and surrounding areas like the gums and jaw bone.)
There are some obvious signs to look out for:
- A visible build-up of plaque (yellow sticky substance) or tartar (hard yellowy brown coating) around the base of the teeth.
- Broken teeth or red gums that look swollen or bleed.
- Bad breath! Contrary to popular believe, this isn't normal.
- Reluctance to allow you near their mouth or pawing it repeatedly/rubbing it on the ground.
- Reduced appetite or avoiding certain foods (of course, this can be a sign of many issues so it is important to get your dog checked by a vet).
Of course, as with many things, prevention is better than cure so we would recommend you take care of your pet's teeth as you do your own with regular brushing (there are pet specific brushes, finger brushes and appealing flavoured toothpastes available), dental chews (look out for the VOHC logo for approved chews and watch out for extra calories!) and feed a good quality dried food.
If you have any concerns, please book to see a vet.