Happy, Healthy Pets Need Regular Dental Care Just Like You and Me
Welcome to National Pet Dental Health Month. For those of you who know me, and for those who don’t, dental health is a passion of mine.
Why Dental Health is Important For Your Pet’s Whole Body Health
For pets, just like humans, dental health is at the center of whole body health. Poor dental health can affect the whole immune system, and dental disease has been linked to heart, kidney, and liver problems. Most animals, however, have some form of periodontal disease by the time they are three years of age. This is why it is important for your animals to have annual exams where their teeth are evaluated.
What Happens When Your Pet Needs Professional Dental Care
When your veterinarian recommends a prophylactic dental cleaning, we are trying to reverse or treat dental disease. A pet dental cleaning is a lot like when humans go to the dentist. We scale (clean) their teeth, take radiographs, probe and polish their teeth.
With pets, however, this procedure requires anesthesia in order to reduce the animal’s stress, discomfort, and for safety all around. We will also surgically extract any diseased, loose, or dead teeth at the same time.
Dental Care at Home
The best way to make sure your pet has good dental health is to brush their teeth daily at home. I, or one of the other veterinarians, can teach you how to do this. First, you’ll need to get a pet-friendly toothbrush. There are two types on the market. There is a regular one that looks like a human toothbrush, and then the finger toothbrush that looks like a large thimble.
Dogs and cats also require specific pet safe toothpaste. These toothpastes also come in multiple pet friendly flavors. You can often purchase kits with the tooth paste and both toothbrushes.
Schedule Your Pet’s Dental Appointment as Soon as Possible
If you have not had your pet’s teeth evaluated this year, I recommend you do so immediately. Companion Animal Clinic offers discounted dental care, contact us for more details.
– Dr. Vanessa Mitchell, DVM
Companion Animal Clinic has been serving Blacksburg, Virginia and surrounding Montgomery and Christiansburg communities since 1974. We are an AAHA accredited veterinary hospital and provide quality, professional care for dogs, cats, exotics, and small mammals. Learn more about our amazing team.