Dogs and cats need healthy teeth and gums too
Your pet’s dental care is important; it is an integral part of your pet’s health. According to a noted veterinary hospital, just as you brush your teeth every day and have them professionally cleaned by your dentist, your animals need the same or similar treatment. A common indication of dental disease in your pet is of course, bad breath. With dogs and cats, naturally, some breath odor is unavoidable at times. However, when the breath odor is really bad, this may be due to the metabolism of some of the bacteria present in the mouth when excessive plaque is present.
Veterinary professionals state that plaque forms when there is a buildup of bacteria and other components of saliva along the teeth and/or gums. It mainly consists of bacteria and is soft at first. When plaque is soft, it can be removed easily at times by frequent brushing. After plaque hardens it is known as calculus–more commonly called tartar. Calculus can build up on your pet’s teeth. This calculus is usually below the gum line and can lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a major initiator of infections in the gums, which can also lead to infections throughout the body. Oftentimes the teeth become very painful and loose. Some animal may begin to lose their teeth.
Do not allow the tartar to build up on your pet’s teeth. Built up calculus can cause severe dental disease. One of the first signs of dental disease is gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums. The gums will be sore and reddened, and the animal’s breath will have a bad odor. There may be some drooling due to the soreness. If you brush the teeth, the gums will probably bleed.
This is where preventative maintenance comes in: The best kind of preventative care for your pet’s teeth is simply regular brushing. Occasionally, dental prophylaxis at your veterinarian’s office may also be required. A dental prophylaxis (often called dental prophy) is an in-depth teeth cleaning and oral exam performed by veterinarians. In this instance, the animal will be placed under general anesthesia so that the dental prophy can be performed.
Brushing your pet’s teeth need not be difficult. Once your pet is used to it, it should not take long to do. Brush your cat or dog’s teeth using a soft bristled toothbrush along with pet toothpaste. The toothpaste that we use as humans should not be used with our pets as it may irritate their stomachs if swallowed–which is a possibility. Get your pet used to the brushing when your pet is young; this will make is less difficult in the long run. Vets state that most pets will tolerate brushing no matter what their age. Brush your pet’s teeth gently on a regular basis. This will go a long way to reducing plaque buildup.
Dogs, as we all know, love chew toys or other toys specifically designed to help clean teeth. This can be a great help for you and your dogs. For pets, dogs and cats, dry food is the best choice for keeping teeth clean, according to vet professionals. (Note: Many of these important points above were obtained from vet professionals who are used to seeing all kinds of pets and providing information to help pet owners.)
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