February isn’t just for Valentine’s Day; it’s also Pet Dental Health Month! The American Veterinary Medical Association, a sponsor of Pet Dental Health Month, reminds all pet owners to recognize the importance of keeping their pet’s teeth squeaky clean and plaque free. Most pet owners are unaware of the dangers that can build in their dog and cats’ mouths. Dental disease is actually the most common ailment for dogs and cats. A major dental disease for cats and dogs is periodontal disease which is a common infection, and if untreated, can lead to serious medical conditions such as diabetes, strokes and other life threatening conditions. Shocking statistics show that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats will have some form of periodontal disease by age two.
Dental disease isn’t just bad breath; it can be very painful and adversely affect a pet’s entire body. If dental disease progresses too much, it will require a professional dental cleaning which is typically performed under anesthesia, and can be costly. Owners should brush their pets’ teeth daily using toothpaste made specifically for pets. This can be easier said than done, so if you can’t brush daily try dental treats, chews, or even a drinking water additive. You can prevent or slow down the development of dental disease by treating your pet’s precious pearly whites just as kindly as you treat your own.