What is Pet Dental Health Month?
How to care for your pet’s dental health this month and beyond
According to the American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of households in the U.S. own a pet, or about 90.5 million families. Just like us, these furry friends need the proper care to ensure a long and healthy life. Sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), February is regarded as Pet Dental Health Month, which is a reminder for pet owners to evaluate their furry friend’s dental hygiene.
Unlike us, pets cannot clean their teeth with daily brushing and flossing. However, pet owners can take action as there are many ways and preventable measures to ensure their four-legged friends’ mouths can be in tip-top shape. Keep reading to learn more about these techniques and how Milwaukee Career College is doing our part today and every day!
Why is a Pet’s Dental Health Important
As stated before, pets can’t take care of their teeth alone. If not checked and/or cleaned regularly, poor dental health can lead to other long-term side effects or illnesses. The American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) states that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will manifest some form of dental disease after they reach three years of age. Some illnesses and diseases include periodontal, gingivitis, and malocclusion. These effects can worsen a pet’s quality of life and sadly lead to deathly consequences.
Signs of Poor Pet Dental Health
There are multiple signs and signals that pets exhibit poor dental health. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following dental symptoms, it is best to schedule a visit with your veterinarian:
- Bad breath
- Teeth that appear discolored or covered in tartar
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
How Can I Protect Pet’s Dental Health?
Luckily, there are many ways that pet owners can protect their pet’s dental health. First, veterinarians recommend brushing their teeth at least once a month. Designated toothbrushes and toothpaste are available at most pet retail stores. If you are brushing their teeth for the first time at home, it’s best to introduce these new sensations in small increments with small training treats. Teeth brushings are also offered with many grooming and bath routines.
If your pet is skittish to new scenarios, some treats and toys offer the same effects as teeth brushing sessions. Some examples include Greenies, Bright Bites, and Vetradent Dog Chews. Just like any other food product, it’s best to speak with your veterinarian for their professional opinion and advice on what products and what quantities are best for your pet.
Lastly, asking your veterinarian to check on your pet’s teeth during their annual check-up will eliminate a second trip and incurred expenses.
Veterinary Dental Practices at Milwaukee Career College
Dental health is one of the many topics covered in our Veterinary Assistant and Veterinary Technician training programs. Students will put their teachings to the test during their externships at local veterinary practices. We also offer Tuition Assistance to those who qualify and Job Placement for all students upon graduation.