A Healthy Mouth for a Healthy Pet

Dog and CatMan best friend, our furry four legged pet, our dogs. If your pets are anything like mine they tend get very affectionate and want to get all close and personal and be right in your face. However, that may not always be best for their master. Despite my best efforts there are times that my pup’s breath is absolutely atrocious and leaves me gasping for a breath of fresh air. His breath is so bad that a skunk would probably turn and head for the hills. Yes, what I’m talking about is a condition that affects many dogs, halitosis. Not only is halitosis disruptive to the relationship with your pet it can also be the first sign of trouble. If your pets health is important to you remember, they need a healthy mouth for a healthy pet.

Research indicates that 70% of cats, and a staggering 80% of dogs show some sign of oral disease by the time their 3. When your pet’s gums are inflamed, bacteria can move to their kidneys, heart, liver or lungs. Periodontal disease is very common oral disease in both dogs and cats which begins as gingivitis and plaque and may end up resulting in tooth loss. If you discover a reddening on the edges of their gums and a yellow film on their teeth this could be the early states of periodontal disease and you should get them to the vet for a dental cleaning. A professional cleaning can help to prevent this disease.

Fortunately, there is a fairly simple solution to this problem. A daily brushing of your pet’s teeth is a very effective method for preventing tooth loss and periodontal disease. However, there are a few do’s and do not’s when it come to caring for your pets mouth.

  • Do Not use the same kind of toothbrushes that you would use for yourself. These brushes are too hard for your pet’s mouth.
  • Do Not use the same kind of toothpaste that you would use for yourself. Our toothpaste foams too much for use on your pet. And since our pets tend to swallow most of the foam it can cause vomiting.
  • Do use oral rinses and additives that can be added to their water to reduce bacteria in their mouth.
  • Do use dental chews. Not only will these help to remove tarter and plaque, they can activate enzymes which can help fight bacteria in the mouth.
  • Do use pet chew toys which are designed to create gum stimulation. For larger dogs steer clear of the dental chews which may be harder than their teeth. Chews than are too hard can fracture the teeth of a larger dog.

And you can even check into prescription pet foods that have been developed to clean your pets teeth if the suffer from chronic dental disease.

The bottom line is that if you have a dog or a cat for a pet, chances are very good that they may be a candidate for oral disease. The good news is that with all of the products and techniques available today pet health and oral health is fairly simple. Start with a daily brushing of pet’s teeth and a yearly visit to the vet for an oral cleaning and exam, and your on the right path to good pet health.