Four out of every five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease, which becomes more severe with age. This can be a real problem for pets and owners because it can lead to more serious problems such as illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidney.
At All Pets we recommend that you check your pet's teeth regularly. Pets often won't show pain. Even pets with sore gums, an infected mouth or broken teeth will continue to eat so you may not notice they have problems. Dogs are pack animals and showing weakness is not part of their nature. They need to eat to survive so won't go off their food until the pain is unbearable. Signs of toothache or an infection in the mouth to look out for in cats and dogs include bad breath, red and inflamed gums and stained teeth. Your pet may also start dropping food when they are eating.
It's important that pets have regular health checks at the vet. Dogs and cats age much more quickly than humans, and it's important to catch problems early to give us the best chance of ensuring a long and happy life for your companion. Checking your pet's teeth will be part of your pet's annual health check. Regular dental checks are an ideal opportunity for owners to find out if their pet has an existing problem which has gone unnoticed. Dental checks also help ensure bacteria and poisons from dental infections do not spread to the heart, liver and kidneys through the bloodstream. For pets with dental disease, professional scaling and polishing may be recommended.
We also recommend regular tooth brushing. Tooth brushing is safer and more effective than chewing and many dogs and cats can be trained to enjoy having their teeth brushed, especially if started when they're young.
Dental chews such as Greenies can be helpful in cleaning the teeth if given regularly and diets that help to brush the teeth as they chew such as the Hills Vet Essentials Diet or Hills t/d diet can help to keep teeth clean.
There are a number of other options available such as a rinse called Hexarinse, that can be very useful for some pets.
Although bones are a popular treat that you may be using for dental care, they can cause problems such as broken teeth and gut obstructions.
Come in and see us at All Pets for more information on dental care, and we can discuss the best options for you and your pet.