Just like their pet parents, dogs and cats require regular dental care to live healthy, happy lives. Symptoms of poor dental hygiene are subtle in our pets until infections or tooth loss have occurred and that means many pet parents don’t consider dental care until it has become a serious issue. Currently, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of 3 will have already developed some stage of periodontal dental disease due to poor mouth hygiene. Small dog breeds and short-snouted cat breeds are at even higher risk for dental disease as their teeth are more tightly spaced in their jaw.
We already know that our teeth need to be cleaned daily to avoid uncomfortable and expensive health issues, but we don’t always think about how the same can be true for our four-legged family members. Dogs and cats accumulate bacteria and food fragments around the gum-line and between teeth and these turn into a soft coating of plaque. If the plaque isn’t scrubbed off, it can harden into brown or yellow-ish tartar on the teeth that can only be removed by professional dental scaling. Tartar is an ideal place for dangerous bacteria to grow in the mouth and issues like gingivitis (painful inflammation of the gums) and other periodontal disease (infection of the gums and teeth roots) will usually follow if it is allowed to buildup in your dog or cat’s mouth.
Not only is gum disease bad news for your pet’s dental health, but it can also affect the rest of your dog or cat’s system once a dental infection gets into the bloodstream. In fact, gum disease has been shown to negatively impact heart, kidneys, and liver health in pets and it is the leading cause of heart disease in cats today.
So, what’s the good news? The good news is that with a little maintenance, proper diet and regular dental care, all of these dental issues are avoidable for our fur kids! We’ve compiled a helpful guide with all the information you need to keep your pet’s dental care on-track. Click the links below to read more.