February Is Pet Dental Health Month

February is most noted for being Black History Month and for being a time to snuggle extra close with your lover in celebration of Valentine’s Day. However, February is also Pet Dental Health Month – a special time to think about how snuggling with your four-legged loved ones would be a lot better if their mouth was a lot cleaner!

Just how important is dental health for Buddy or Bella? According to leading pet health insurance companies, dental related problems and diseases are in the top ten of health claims they receive. Problems such as periodontal disease, tooth infections, and tooth decay can really affect Buddy’s overall health if you don’t address the problems right away. Better still, Bella should be getting regular tooth check-ups and teeth cleanings so you can prevent nasty and hazardous dental problems down the road.

Keep Buddy’s Teeth Healthy and Shining
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that nearly 80% of dogs show some signs of oral disease by age 3. This could be dramatically reduced if pet owners took their dogs to veterinarians regularly and practiced proper pet dental health care at home.

There are lots of ways to practice preventative pet dental care. In general, whatever you do for your teeth, you should also do for Buddy’s. Brushing their teeth is the best way to keep tooth decay and tooth disease away. Don’t use human dental products on Buddy, though! There are plenty of pet friendly dental hygiene products on the market, and only these should be used on pets.

Some pet brushes on the market include finger brushes and smaller pet toothbrushes. Lots of pets and their owners prefer finger brushes, as it gives the owner more control over the teeth cleaning and doesn’t put the pets off as much. Finger brushes simply slip over your finger tip giving you maximal control as you clean out Buddy’s mouth. If you decide to go with a more traditional pet toothbrush, make sure you get the proper size for Buddy or Bella’s mouth. Small dogs have small mouths and need small toothbrushes!

It is also important not to use human toothpaste when you brush Bella’s mouth. She isn’t going to like mint flavor and she won’t know how to spit it out when you’re done. This is why pet friendly toothpastes come in flavors like poultry or beef and aren’t meant to be spit out when the brushing is done.

Aside from good old-fashioned tooth brushing, Buddy can also benefit from dental care dog biscuits, oral sprays, and oral gels. Of the three, as you can probably guess, Buddy will prefer the dental biscuits. If you are already giving Buddy a biscuit or two a day, why not make it one that will help improve her teeth? However, if Buddy’s mouth, teeth, and/or breath are in pretty bad shape, your veterinarian might recommend stronger products, like the oral sprays and the gels.

Benefits of Buddy’s Cleaner Mouth
Having a cleaner, healthier mouth will benefit both you and Buddy. Not only will he have fresher breath (so you can snuggle him extra close) and healthier teeth, but his overall health will be better, too. Like humans, when dogs have healthier mouths they have less health problems with their hearts, livers, and even kidneys. If proper dental health care for Buddy and Bella means fresher breath, less health problems and prettier smiles, then every owner should be more than happy to start taking pet dental care more seriously. And not just in February, but during every month of the year.