The Importance of Dental Care for Pets
Not only is February the month of love, it is also National Pet Dental Health Month and there is no better way to show your pets love than to take the best care of their health. While no one is a fan of dog breath, bad breath is not something to turn a blind nose to. By the age of three, most dogs and cats will already have begun developing periodontal disease. Lack of dental care not only causes bad breath and tartar, but can lead to a host of other issues like heart disease, infection or inflammation of the liver or kidneys, and tooth root abscesses and other dental problems.
Prevention is the best way to protect your pup’s pearly whites. Be sure to have your pet’s teeth examined once a year at their annual physical to maintain dental health and to check for early signs of dental disease. The most important step to care for your pet’s dental care is by brushing their teeth. Ideally, your pet’s teeth should be brushed each day, however, brushing three times a week is the minimum times per week recommended by veterinarians to help prevent plaque and tartar. It is best to introduce your pet to having their teeth checked and brushed at a young age to familiarize them and make the process easier in the future. There are also other options to clean their teeth if a toothbrush is too large or difficult to use. Using dental wipes or a finger toothbrush, which is usually made of a soft material and fits over the tip of your finger, may be easier to use or more easily accepted by your pet as these methods can be gentler and less intrusive.
If your pet’s teeth have accumulated plaque or show signs of dental issues, your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning. There are two options for dental cleaning, non-anesthetic and those performed under anesthesia. Non-anesthetic dentals are a great option for pets in need of a light cleaning, but do not allow for as thorough of an examination as those performed under anesthesia. Anesthetic dental cleanings are also necessary for more serious issues such as broken or loose teeth, abscesses, and for pets with behavioral problems to ensure safety for all involved. Another factor to consider when deciding what kind of cleaning is most suitable for your pet is stress. Vet visits are often scary for pets, and sedation will allow for a less stressful dental cleaning and can also minimize pain during the procedure.
Photo Credit: @mishabarkton
Whether you choose to have a non-anesthetic dental performed or have your pet undergo sedation, it is important to consider the meal offered afterward. Whether your pet is having a simple cleaning done or needs to have extractions, their teeth are likely to be sensitive or sore afterward, and if they are sedated, they are also prone to have a sensitive or upset stomach along with nausea because of anesthesia. Offer food which will be soft and easy to eat, as well as a bland diet that will be soothing for the stomach and gentle on their digestive system. Grandma Lucy’s Simple Replacement makes the perfect meal for after dental procedures, or any other time your pet is under sedation or has an upset stomach. Simple Replacement offers a home-cooked, bland diet for your dog in a pinch. Using white rice and salmon, chicken, or pork, Simple Replacement is an easy to prepare meal that is easy to digest for your pup when they are feeling under the weather. Veterinarians often recommend a bland meal of white rice and protein to help calm upset stomachs, and Grandma Lucy’s is happy to take the work out of preparation for times when pet parents already have their hands full caring for a pup not feeling their best.
Happy pets start with healthy pets! It is never too late to start caring for your pet’s teeth, and there are dental care options to suit every pet and pet parent. Grandma Lucy’s passion is helping every pet live their healthiest life, and to create products to help owners give their dogs the gift of wellness. Keep your pet’s smile shining bright, and show your pet how loved they are by helping them feel their best.