Dental health is an important part of a dog or cat’s overall well-being. A regular oral health routine will combat bad breath, remove tartar and bacteria, and ultimately helps prevent periodontal disease, a painful and preventable oral health condition.
Keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy with these tips:
Dental disease in pets, especially dogs, is extremely common. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs over the age of three suffer from dental disease. Dental issues in pets start when plaque hardens into tartar below the gum line and becomes damaging and infectious to tissue and the jawbone. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can lead to serious health issues beyond bad breath and tooth loss, including kidney, liver and heart damage.
It’s important to be aware of the causes of pet dental health problems and to be able to identify the indicators that your pet is suffering from periodontal disease, which include:
Avoiding regular dental care for dogs and cats can lead to many of the same oral health problems as humans experience, including:
In addition to professional cleanings and an at-home care routine, dental treats and chews are specifically designed to provide dental-related benefits to dogs and cats. These treats and chews are meant to remove plaque buildup and often include ingredients that help to clean a cat or dog’s mouth. Many pet dental treats even freshen breath!
When pet food manufacturers make a dental-related claim on the label, the package will also communicate how that effect is achieved (e.g. “with ridges to scrape teeth” or “with peppermint to help freshen breath”). These claim guidelines are included in the model regulations for pet food published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).