Millions of pet owners may notice their pet’s dirty teeth or bad breath while playing and petting them, and typically do not take these issues too seriously. However, what many dog and cat owners may not realize is that poor oral care can affect a pet’s overall health. February is “National Pet Dental Health Month” and Central Veterinary Associates wants owners to be aware of the hazards of bad dental health in pets.
Unbeknownst to many, poor dental hygiene ultimately affects a pet’s internal organs. If plaque builds up over time, it turns into tartar, which impacts areas of the mouth that can “seed” to other parts of the body. Tartar can also cause periodontal disease, which is an oral condition that affects the gums. It eventually results in the loss of teeth, along with extreme pain. Often, by the time dogs and cats reach their third birthday, 80% of them are diagnosed with some form of dental disease, according to recent studies.
The initial warning sign that indicates the need for more dental care is unbearable foul breath. CVA urges owners to take their pets for an annual dental examination at their veterinarian’s office. To help improve dental health, be sure to brush your pet’s teeth with pet-approved toothpaste, purchase dental chews, and give your pet oral rinses every so often.