What You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Dental Health

Pet owners only want the best for their furry friends. It’s why you spend money on their toys before you spend it on yourself and take them to the park in your free time. When you own a pet, part of your responsibility is to know what they need and when they need it. Most people would say they know how to take care of their pets, but do they know what it takes when it comes to their pet’s dental health?

You might have your pet’s feeding routine down, know when they’ll wake up in the morning and only buy the best quality food, but these aren’t the only things you can do.

If you’ve never considered your pet’s dental needs before, read on to learn what you need to know.

1. Bad Teeth Mean Bad Breath

You love it when your dog or cat climbs up and tries to snuggle with you. Maybe they lick your cheek or fall asleep on your shoulder. You wouldn’t give up that bonding moment for anything in the world, but then you get hit with a wave of their stinky breath.

Bad breath is a good indicator that their teeth need a thorough cleaning. When humans don’t brush their teeth twice a day, bacteria builds up and makes your breath reek. The same thing happens with pets. Try giving them dental treats to see if you can solve the problem or consult their vet if their breath worsens.

2. Teeth Can Wear Out

Your pet loves chewing on anything they can find, but high-intensity chewing can wear their teeth out. It’s easy to assume that dogs would have this problem most often. They do have a history of ripping through pillows and cushions. It may surprise you, but cats can as well, which mostly happens with their incisors. Keep an eye out for any potential bleeding after your pet chews on their toys. Blood can indicate they’re putting too much pressure on their teeth.

3. Malnutrition Hurts Teeth

Dogs and cats suffer from malnutrition in similar ways, like how it makes their teeth more sensitive. If they can’t chew food properly, it upsets their digestive system and causes more problems down the road. A well-rounded diet can help keep their gums healthy with the proper vitamins and nutrition. 

4. Tartar Builds Easily

Dental tartar is something humans and animals are both susceptible to. It occurs around teeth when food, bacteria, and minerals build up from a lack of dental care. If it grows for an extended period, your pet’s teeth will look yellow and they may have black or brown buildup along their gum line. 

When you leave tartar to grow in your pet’s mouth, it could make their gums sensitive or put them in pain from inflammation. Every once in a while, check your pet’s teeth to look for signs of buildup.

5. Pets Need Toothbrushes

Dental treats are a delicious way to help your pet’s health, but they shouldn’t be your pet’s primary form of dental care. Dog and cat owners should look for pet appropriate supplies and brush with pet-safe products. You can use toothbrushes designed specifically for your pet’s mouth along with pet-approved toothpaste two to three times per week in between professional cleanings.

6. They Could Lose Gum Tissue

Neglecting your pet’s dental health encourages the growth of bacteria in their gums. Their immune system will step up to help, but it could lead to feline periodontal disease or cause your dog to experience mild to severe gingivitis, which pet owners should always take seriously. Reddening around the gum line is a good indicator that your pet is on their way to more serious dental issues.

7. Dental Care Affects Diabetes

Animals develop diabetes in their older years all the time. You can improve their health after this diagnosis by monitoring their diet. If their teeth or gums hurt because they don’t get regular dental care, they’ll have worsened diabetes side effects because of drops in blood sugar from not eating. It’s possible to inject insulin in times of crisis, but your pet should eat regular meals as well.

8. Schedule Yearly Appointments

You’re not alone in taking care of your pet’s dental health. Talk with your vet about teeth cleaning services they offer. They may be able to clean them or send you to someone who can. You should get your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned every one to two years, but learn about the use of anesthesia to determine if it’s an experience you want to sign your pet up for.

Talk With Your Vet

These dental health tips could be what your pet needs to ensure their happiness, but if you’re ever uncertain, talk with your vet. They can discuss how to use these tips in your pet’s life and which may be more effective for their health. As long as you keep your pet’s dental care in mind, you can stay one step ahead of potential infections or complications.

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