Many people believe that pets naturally have bad breath. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Odor from your pet's mouth could indicate serious dental damage. The good news is, there are steps you can take to keep Rover's mouth as clean as a (dog) whistle. There is no better time than the beginning of February to update your knowledge on pet dental health: it is Pet Dental Health Month!
Just like with your mouth, the first step in maintaining pet dental health is regular preventative cleaning. The best way to do this is to brush your dog or cat's teeth daily, although this is not always a possibility. If you cannot perform regular daily brushing on your pet, the next best thing is to do so several times per week. Dogs are generally agreeable when it comes to brushing, while cats are usually not huge fans. It is important to be patient and reward them afterwards.
There are also products on the market that claim to help with pet dental health, but it is best to talk to your veterinarian to get their recommendation first.
Professional Dental Care
Human dental care and pet dental care share another important aspect: they both require regular professional checkups. Make sure to bring your pet to a veterinarian at least once a year, and be sure that the veterinarian checks on your pet's dental health. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, if you notice any of the below problems with your pet, you should get them checked out more regularly:
- Broken teeth
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Reduced appetite or other abnormal eating behaviors
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling around the mouth
If you have been neglecting to care for your pet's dental health, Pet Dental Health Month is a great time to start.