dental care and your pet
According to the American Veterinary Dental College, approximately 75 percent of dogs and cats have at least mild gum disease by age three. Gum disease can cause your pet to lose teeth and can lead to seemingly non-related health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. If you’re like many pet owners, you don’t deliberately neglect your pet’s oral healthcare. You simply don’t realize how important it is to have an established routine at home and to bring your pet in for regular dental cleanings at Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic.

Gum Disease Prevention in Dogs and Cats

The food you feed your pet has a huge impact on her dental health. It needs to have healthy ingredients such as animal fat, moisture, meat, protein, and vegetables. Artificial fillers, grains, and starches offer your pet little to no nutritional value. Dogs and cats are natural carnivores who don’t need grains or starches added to their diet. It’s also important to avoid giving your pet food meant for people and to limit treats.

Some people give their pets dental chews instead of brushing their teeth each day. Dental chews can reduce plaque and tartar, but they’re no substitute for regular brushing. Even if you have never brushed your pet’s teeth, it’s not too late to start now. The important thing is to remain consistent and offer plenty of praise for even the smallest amount of cooperation.

It’s also essential that you choose a toothbrush to fit your pet’s mouth size and one made for his species. If you need tips on how to go about brushing your pet’s teeth, click here for dogs and here for cats.

Symptoms of an Oral Health Problem

Bad breath is one of the most obvious indications that your pet could have gum disease or another oral health problem. Pet owners often joke about their dog or cat’s bad breath without realizing they should follow up on this issue. Other common symptoms that require a prompt evaluation include reluctance to eat, bleeding gums, excess drooling, and stained teeth.

Download Our PDF on Feline and Canine Dentistry

Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic has prepared a document on the stages of dental disease, the importance of brushing and regular professional cleanings, the dental services we provide, and much more. We encourage you to download the PDF to learn everything you can about oral healthcare in companion animals. We are always happy to answer your questions as well.
Image credit: Getty Images

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