....Dogs and cats use their teeth for nearly everything they do : to eat, to play, to fetch - even to carry their favorite toy. So it's not surprising that a big part of keeping them healthy is making sure their mouths stay healthy.
Hi, I'm Dr. Jan Bellows, licensed veterinarian and dental specialist at All Pets Dental in Weston, Florida. Today we're gonna explain the importance of taking care of your pet's teeth. Even though most of us brush our own teeth twice a day and see a dentist regularly, most people just don't see the same need in their pets. But the truth is, oral disease affects the pets the same way as it does humans. As many as 80 per cent of dogs and 70 per cent of cats suffer from oral disease by the age of three. It's a serious threat that is indicated to prompt heart, liver, lung, and kidney disease, and sometimes even reduce the pet's lifespan. By taking an interest in your pet's oral health, you can help prevent oral disease from affecting your pet. You'll learn early warning signs and be able to protect your dog or cat from the pain, bleeding gums, and loose teeth that can result if the mouth is not cleaned regularly. Start by checking your pet's mouth weekly. When your pet is calm, gently raise its lip to examine the teeth and gum line. Look for signs of disease such as red, inflamed, or bleeding gums. Also check for loose or broken teeth. This is especially important for breeds like Labradors that are powerful chewers. While you are examining your pet, be sure to smell for foul breath. The odor that is often dismissed as doggy-breath is actually a warning sign of disease. If you notice any abnormalities, please notify your veterinarian immediately, but always keep in mind that 60 per cent of the tooth is not exposed to the naked eye. All pets should have at least one veterinary oral assessment per year to make sure that no disease is present. The most successful way to make sure that your pet's mouth is not overlooked is to get the entire family involved. Make sure each person is an advocate for your pet's oral health. I hope you take this opportunity to implement these evaluation practices in your home. They are definitely a key step towards a healthy mouth and a healthy pet.