February is Pet Dental Month!

Did you know that February is Pet Dental Month? If you schedule a dental cleaning this month for your pet you receive a free toothbrush and toothpaste set, dental chews (for dogs only), and a sample of Hills Prescription Diet T/D. Below is a wonderful blog written by Amanda, one of our technicians. She has given some information on why a dental cleaning is needed and how important they are for your pet's health.

Our pet’s teeth are often something that we, as owners, overlook until they have “bad breath.” Did you know they shouldn’t have a foul odor from their mouth? Unless, they do the unthinkable…and eat their own poop!

The odor comes from the bacteria that are harbored under the calculus which cats and dogs develop. Food, saliva, and bacteria combine to form a hard, calcified plaque, otherwise known as calculus, over the teeth. The calculus becomes thicker and thicker with each new layer that added on over time. The combination of the bacteria and calculus make the gums and supportive structures around the teeth recede and break down. As this process continues our pet’s mouth becomes smellier. This can potentially cause teeth to become bad and either fall out on their own or need to be pulled. They sometimes develop painful infections around the roots of the teeth too.

The good news is there are a few things that can be done to slow the process, and to help keep our pet’s mouth healthy. If the pet is cooperative, brushing the teeth daily, to every other day, is the best way to keep the teeth clean. Appropriate chew toys, dental diets, and water additives to prevent the bacteria buildup are some other options for the less cooperative pets. Throughout every pet’s life though, they will also require professional cleaning. This includes scaling and polishing all surfaces of the teeth while the pet is closely monitored under anesthesia. Please talk with your veterinarian to determine if a professional cleaning is needed for your pet. Your veterinarian can also discuss some of the other options along with helping to teach you how to start brushing your pet’s teeth.

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