The average lifespan of dogs and cats has increased significantly in recent years, which is great news for animal lovers! We already know that we’ll probably outlive our pets, but keeping them around as long as possible is every pet owner’s goal.
Pet dental care is often overlooked, but it’s an extremely important factor in pet longevity. Good oral health can add 1-3 years to your pet’s life – a significant amount of a pet’s lifespan! In recognition of National Pet Dental Health Month, which occurs every February, our team wants to shine a light on pet dental care and the positive impact it can have on your pet’s health and wellness.
Why Pet Dental Care Matters
Studies suggest that by the time they reach age 3, the majority of pets have some form of dental disease. This condition occurs when plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, both above and below the gum line, which irritates the tissues around the teeth and allows bacteria to multiply. Eventually, damage to the supportive structures around the teeth can lead to significant pain, tooth loss, oral infection, and eventually widespread damage throughout the body.
A pet toothbrush, pet-friendly toothpaste, and a commitment to good pet dental care are your best weapons in the fight against dental disease. Daily brushing is the single most effective way to help your pet live a longer, more comfortable life – and it only takes about one minute a day.
Your veterinarian is happy to demonstrate proper brushing techniques and can make recommendations for other products you can use at home to encourage good oral health.
Keeping up with your pet’s regularly scheduled wellness exams are essential when it comes to pet longevity and oral health. After an initial examination of your pet’s mouth, your veterinarian will make recommendations regarding follow-up home or professional care. Many pets require regular deep-cleaning of the teeth performed under general anesthesia to ensure ongoing dental health and to correct any problems caused by dental disease.
Please bring your pet in to see us if you notice any of the following signs of pet dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Change in eating habits
- Obvious tartar buildup
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding or loose teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Pawing at the mouth
- Pain around the mouth
A Life Well Lived
Untreated dental disease can be debilitating, expensive, and can significantly shorten your pet’s life. If you need help getting your pet’s dental health back on track, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Your friends at Vaughn Road Veterinary Clinic are always here to help!