Why are dental cleanings important for my pet?

If you have a dog or cat, you need to clean their teeth regularly. While veterinary services cover a full array of options, including a regular exam, spay and neuter, and sick exam, you cannot overlook the importance of at-home and in-office dental care. About 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have gum disease by the time they are 3-years-old. Therefore, one of the veterinary services frequently offered, such as dental care, is not something you should take lightly or ignore.

Taking Care of Your Pet’s Teeth at Home

While veterinarians try to emphasize the importance of tooth brushing to pet owners, about 65% of pet parents still do not brush their pet’s teeth. Maybe you find it tedious and difficult to brush your fur baby’s teeth. However, neglecting your pet’s oral care can lead to more serious health problems down the road.

A periodontal infection can lead to heart disease, diabetes, or liver or kidney ailments. To ward off periodontal disease, you will still find that prevention is still the best cure. By practicing preventative care at home, you can save on the costs associated with veterinary services that treat gum infections and gum-related diseases. Veterinary services, such as professional cleanings and exams, ensure the overall health and longevity of your pet.

If you do not clean your dog’s or cat’s teeth, the bacteria from the food in their mouth will form a biofilm called plaque. Plaque and bacteria form acids that eat away at the dental enamel. Not cleaning your pet’s teeth triggers a chain reaction. Moreover, minerals in your pet’s saliva eventually harden plaque, turning it into tartar. This development ultimately spreads bacteria under the gum line.

When this occurs, the secreted toxins from the bacteria damage gingival tissues and cause a gradual deterioration of your pet’s physical functions. To prevent dental and health issues, it’s essential to learn how to clean your pet’s teeth. To begin, you might start with a child’s soft toothbrush or wrap a piece of gauze around your finger to clean away food particles and residue. Never use a regular human toothpaste, as the formulation may be harmful to your pet. Pet toothpaste comes in flavors, such as seafood or chicken, which will cause a dog or cat to become more compliant and tolerate tooth cleaning more.

Checking for Periodontal Disease

By taking care of your pet’s teeth at home and scheduling professional cleanings, you can keep your dog or cat free of gum disease. Some of the warning signs of a periodontal infection include bad breath, blood-tinged drool, a loss of interest in chewing on toys, inflamed and red gums, a decreased appetite (because it is painful to chew), and tooth discoloration. Most pets have serious dental issues after the age of two. Therefore, you need to get used to giving your pet regular oral care in the home to prevent other health issues from developing.

Besides brushing, you can find pet-based rinses that inhibit bacteria and freshen the breath. Just squirt the mouthwash onto your pet’s teeth. You can also give dental chews to your pet that are made to prevent plaque. We can help you give your pet the best possible dental care as well. We are an SPCA vet clinic. SPCA is an acronym that stands for the Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals. Give us a call today to learn more about scheduling a dental cleaning and exam.

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