Over 80 per cent of dogs and 70 per cent of cats will have dental disease by the age of three. The reality is, most of us do not have time to brush our pet’s teeth or in some cases we may be feeding them the wrong diet. We know that we should, but daily demands and our wriggly, unruly dogs, turn our best intentions into ‘mission impossible’. Not having time to brush your dog’s teeth does not make you a bad pet parent. We all do the best we can. But stinky doggy breath and plaque build-up simply cannot go untreated without risking serious health problems and big vet bills.
Dental care is an important factor in your pet’s overall health. Taking preventative care at home, such as brushing their teeth daily and feeding dental treats regularly, will improve your pet’s dental health. It is also important to undertake dental health checks with your VetLove vet every six months to ensure your pet’s teeth and gums stay in great shape.
Take this great opportunity to visit our vet clinics during July and August 2020 for a no obligation FREE DENTAL CHECK. At the same time, our friendly team will demonstrate how to clean your pet’s teeth at home.
11 warning signs of dental disease …. read more
- Smelly breath
- Pawing at mouth
- Difficulty chewing or chewing on one side of the mouth
- Excessive drooling/saliva
- Sensitive when touched around the mouth area
- Lost interest in food, treats, bones or chew toys
- Dropping food when eating
- Red or inflamed gums
- Plaque or tartar build-up
- Swelling under the eye
- Fractured or loose teeth
Halitosis, or bad breath, is the most common sign of early dental disease in our pets. Classic ‘doggy breath’ or ‘kitty dragon breath’ is not necessarily normal. It is usually caused by an infection of the gums or other supporting forms of the teeth. Plaque builds up every day on the tooth surface, including around the gum line. Left in place, the plaque can harden in less than two days. The familiar brown, grey or yellow staining commonly seen near the gum line is a sign of advancing disease. Other signs include red inflamed gums, loose teeth, tartar accumulation, and/or calculus (plaque) on the teeth.
The most common course of remedial treatment when dental disease is prevalent is for your pet to have their teeth checked by a veterinary dental nurse or veterinarian and, if needed, book them in for a dental scale and polish treatment, provided under anaesthetic, accompanied by regular tooth brushing and using dental food or chews.
Please note that bad breath isn’t always dental disease, occasionally we will see other conditions presented, like a foreign body stuck in the roof of the mouth or between a tooth cavity, months of pet hair caught in the teeth from overgrooming, a nasty abscess or tumour or even a hereditary growth problem of the teeth causing overcrowding and trapping food for many months.
Tip: Keeping your pet’s teeth clean can help keep your pet healthy and happy
A child’s soft toothbrush for small dogs is ideal; an adult size should be used for larger dogs. Small finger brushes can be purchased for cats.
Use toothpaste formulated especially for pets, available at VetLove clinics to order.
Begin by only brushing the outside surfaces of the teeth. When your pet has adjusted to this, add the inside surfaces between the teeth and tongue.
Should your pet still have bad breath after home brushing, it might be time to visit your local VetLove for a FREE DENTAL CHECK with one of our lovely trained team members. This will provide you with vital information on how to recognise the early signs of dental disease and how you can maintain optimum care for their teeth at home.