February is the month we celebrate love and National Pet Dental Health, so it is the perfect time to shower your animal with love! One way to express that love is by having his teeth and gums checked and cleaned to ensure that his mouth – and the rest of him – are in tip top shape.
Problems with dental health can lead to problems with general health, so it is vital to pay close attention to your animal companion’s teeth and gums, especially if he has bad breath. Periodontal disease happens when plaque on teeth hardens and turns into tartar, which then builds up beneath the gums. As it expands, the tartar breaks down the gum tissue causing tooth loss and worse. The bacteria present – which causes the bad breath – may spread to other parts of your animal leading to significant health problems, such as kidney and heart disease. To protect your animal’s teeth and prevent serious illness, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends at least yearly dental exams by a veterinarian. If your animal has significant dental issues or you just want to be extra careful, take your animal to a veterinary dentist, a specialist in animal oral health, at least once a year.
In between visits, to keep your animal’s teeth and gums as healthy as possible, brush his teeth regularly – if he’ll let you. If you get your dog as a puppy, start early to get him used to having his mouth touched and his teeth brushed. For older dogs, you will likely have to take a little time getting your animal used to the sensation of brushing, and he may never quite get the hang of it. If that’s the case, don’t worry. While brushing is best, there are treats you can offer that will not only please your pup, but will also help keep his teeth, gums, and breath in sweet shape.
Textured dental bones help to reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar, and treats such as Earth Animal’s Fresh Herbed Chicken Tenders help to eliminate bad breath. If your animal’s gums are inflamed, try Earth Animal’s Clean Mouth, Gums, and Breath Herbal Remedy. It naturally soothes and comforts gums while neutralizing bad breath. If your animal needs extra help keeping plaque and tartar at bay, consider a dental diet in which specially formulated kibble provides not only the nutrition your animal needs but also the ingredients and texture to help break down plaque and prevent tartar build up.
Maintaining your animal’s dental health every day and having his mouth checked out by a veterinarian at least once a year will not only keep your animal companion’s breath smelling fresh but will also ward off the potential consequences of poor dental health. This Valentine’s Day show your animal companion how much you really love him by making sure his mouth is healthy, and he will return your affection with lots of sloppy but sweet smelling kisses.