National Pet Dental Health Month

pet dental health monthDid you know that February is national pet dental health awareness month?  Have you peered into the jaws of Fido and checked out his teeth before?  Dogs do have smelly breath, but sometimes that bad breath can be an indicator that his teeth or gums are in bad shape.  If you can’t tell anything but looking at your dog’s mouth, you should consider taking them in for a dental checkup with your veterinarian.

Spend a little, Save a lot

The people at AVMA, or the American Veterinarian Medical Association, have sponsored next month as the time to raise awareness about how important it is to get your pet’s teeth looked at.  We know how expensive a simple trip to the vet can be, but the investment you make early in your pet’s life will save you more money in the end, potentially saving or extending the life of your pet, as well.

Taking your pet into the vet for a dental cleaning can show you just how easy it is for you to do it by yourself at home.  It’s all about technique and getting your dog used to you messing with their teeth.  Brushing their teeth can’t hurt them, but if they’ve never had anyone shove a brush in their mouth, you can bet that they will dodge and fight you to get away.

Pet Dental Health is serious!

As previously mentioned, bad breath could mean teeth or gum disease, which is no fun for your pet, but it can also indicate an even more serious problem with their renal system.  If your dog’s organs aren’t able to do their job of properly filtering the blood, bad breath is one of the early signs of organ-related problems that you may mistake for just oral hygiene.

This is why regular dental health checkups are important for pet owners.  Your vet will be looking for the warning signs specifically and make sure your dog isn’t vulnerable to these types of diseases that can spread through the bloodstream.

Warning signs

Here are a few early symptoms that can indicate a problem with your pet’s oral health: smelly breath, red, inflamed gums, dark plaque on teeth, excessive drooling, bleeding gums, sensitivity to chewing, rubbing face on the floor a lot, apprehension towards solid foods, and weight loss.

A lot of these symptoms are shared by very serious illnesses, too.  You will be left in the dark if you don’t stay on top of your pet’s dental health.  Use National Pet Dental Health month as an opportunity to make it an annual habit of getting that clean bill of health – don’t delay!

You can really make those pearly white shine and impress your friends and family if you take the time to learn how to properly take care of your pet’s teeth at home.  There’s a lot of tools you can use out there, not just the standard brush, but also special food and chewables that are made to specifically break down any tartar and fight bacterial to make your pet’s breath smell like a million bucks.  Your pet might even start smelling better than some people’s kids. Ok, I’m exaggerating but, you get the idea, right?

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