A clean mouth can add years to a pet's life, though it’s something pet parents don’t always consider, often due to the need for additional education.
By three years of age, most dogs and cats have some level of periodontal disease, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. Not always apparent to pet owners, periodontal disease can cause oral pain, infection, inflammation and other health problems, decreasing the quality of life for these pets. After a proper dental procedure, many pet owners report the emergence of a “whole new pet” — one who is happier and more active.
Like human health, dental problems don’t just impact pets’ teeth and gums. They can have a long-term impact on their hearts, kidneys and other major organs, according to experts at AmeriVet Veterinary Partners.
February is a perfect time to remind pet parents that furry friends can’t carry a toothbrush around for daily cleaning. Dr. Brian Hurley, DVM, and national medical director with AmeriVet Veterinary Partners, shared a few tips that veterinarians can use to prep their practices for Pet Dental Health Month:
The American Veterinary Medical Association has additional resources for pet parents: https://www.avma.org/events/national-pet-dental-health-month
The Veterinary Health Oral Council also has information on how periodontal disease develops. The council also has a list of approved dental products for dogs and cats to share with pet parents. The council recognizes products that meet pre-set standards to delay the accumulation of plaque and calculus, or tartar, on pets’ teeth. Products are awarded the VOHC Seal of Acceptance following review of data from trials conducted according to VOHC protocols.
Video produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.