Pet Oral Hygiene – Dental Disease and How to Prevent It

This week we will be focusing on pet oral hygiene!

Dental disease is a huge concern within both dogs and cats. 80% of dogs by the age of three have some kind of dental issue, while 70% of cats at the same age suffer from similar problems.
So let’s take a look into the signs and symptoms of dental disease, and what we could be doing to help.

What Are the Symptoms of Dental Disease?

The most common dental health problem seen in both cats and dogs is periodontal disease, or as its better known, gum disease.

Much like the same condition in humans, it begins with plaque deposits on the teeth that irritate the gums, leading to an early stage of periodontal disease known as gingivitis.
When suffering from gingivitis, cats and dogs are likely to experience swollen and bleeding gums, chronic pain that may affect their willingness to eat, and bad breath.
If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into advanced periodontal disease, in which the tissue and bone have been damaged to such a state that teeth become loose and may fall out. At this stage, the damage already done is often irreversible.

How Can I Prevent Dental Disease in My Pets?

As advanced periodontal disease in dogs and cats can lead to irreversible damage, prevention is key.

To do this, we need to remove plaque as and when it appears. This is done with a simple brushing of the teeth, ideally performed twice a day. You can buy dog and cat toothpaste and toothbrushes for this purpose.

While many pets aren’t used to having their teeth brushed at first, it’s for their own good that you teach them that it is a necessary part of the day.

You can do this via training them to accept brushing. First, just get them used to the smell and taste of the toothpaste, followed by the feel of the brush against their teeth. Reward good behavior with treats!

Once they are comfortable, you can begin to brush their teeth regularly.
Check our article here for more info on getting your pet used to grooming, including teeth brushing.

  • Jessica

    Jessica is a passionate pet lover and veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. Her blog serves as a reliable source for pet health advice, ranging from preventive care to handling emergencies.

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