A vet checking a dogs teeth

National Pet Dental Health Month

Do you practice dental care for your pet?  Some may think it is silly to brush their dog’s or cat’s teeth, and some pet parents do not have their pets get dental checkups or cleanings.  But did you know that poor dental health can lead to other medical problems with your pet? Yes, just like humans, pets can get periodontal disease. In fact, by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease. By the age of 2, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet.

5 Reasons to Take Care of Your Pet’s Teeth.

  1. Pets that don’t get dental care can painfully lose their teeth. Also as their teeth decay, they can experience a great deal of pain. This in turn can affect their behavior.
  2. Dogs, cats and other pets can be very good at hiding their pain. Therefore, dental problems develop to the point where it’s too late and teeth have to be pulled.
  3. Animals need their teeth to properly chew their food.  It is the first stage of digestion. But as they age, their teeth do wear out and this will affect their ability to chew their food.
  4. Excessive wear of pet teeth can lead to the teeth and gums becoming infected.
  5. Dental infections can lead to serious problems with your pet’s organs. The bacteria in the oral cavity of a pet with periodontal disease can travel into the circulatory system. From there it can travel throughout the pet’s body and can cause damage to the heart, liver and kidneys.

Signs of Pet Dental Problems

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • teeth are discolored
  • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

Test Yourself

Now see how much you know about pet dental health. Take this quiz

Schedule Your Pet’s Dental Visit

If it has been more than a year since your pet’s last dental exam and cleaning, or they have never had one, we urge you contact us now and schedule. We will also be happy to show you at your pet’s next visit how to brush your pet’s teeth.


Stacey Funderburk D.V.M.

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