February = National Pet Dental Health Month
Did you know that 80% of dogs (4 yrs+) have some form of dental disease? The main culprit = plaque.
A build-up hardens into tartar, leading to gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontal disease (damaged/loss of teeth). Furthermore, this bacteria can invade the bloodstream, damaging the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver.
Want to lower your dog’s risks?
Go to the Vet – The vet will examine your dog’s mouth for signs of hardened plaque and/or dental disease.
Brush his/her Teeth – This is the most effective way to control plaque; breaking it up before it hardens into tartar.
Add Oral Rinse to Water – If your dog absolutely refuses to have his teeth cleaned, add specially formulated antiseptic oral rinses (although they’re more effective when combined with cleaning) to his water.
Buy Dental Care Products – Dogs love to chew, and this has the added benefit of helping to keep their teeth clean.
Consider Your Pet’s Diet – Special dental diets have been shown to reduce plaque and/or tartar build up.
TIP – Weekly inspections of your dog’s mouth can also help avoid both dental disease and costly/invasive medical procedures. Be alert to such problems as bad breath, drooling, red or puffy, bleeding gums, yellow tartar crusted along the gum line, discolored, broken or missing teeth, bumps in the mouth, and changes in chewing or eating habits.
If you’ve been neglecting your dog’s dental health up to now, it is never too late to start.
Written by Nomi Berger, best-selling author who volunteers her writing skills to rescue groups in Canada and the USA. Nomi lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini