January Is Dental Health Month

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Does your pet’s breath smell? Like, really smell? Commonly overlooked is the topic of dental hygiene in our pets. When not properly addressed, this can lead to gum pain or toothache, or more severe issues such as infection that can affect various organs.

The most ideal approach to pet dental hygiene would be to brush their teeth every day, just like people. Understandably, this can be unrealistic since Fluffy and Fido don’t generally agree with this method. If an owner can brush their pet’s teeth three or so times per week, that would still be a great feat. To encourage your furry friend to allow you to do this, you can pick up some canine or feline toothpaste, which comes in various flavors. Fortunately, this isn’t the only way that you can help with your pet’s oral hygiene.

With a pet that likes to chew, providing the right chew-toy can aid in removal of plaque. Sticks, rawhides, and certain bones can do wonders for keeping a dog’s teeth looking nice and clean! Be careful of what you offer, though, as some bones and treats are high in calories or may fracture when chewed upon. There are also toy alternatives to these products, oftentimes rubber or nylon toys with bumpy or rough surfaces. If you decide to go this route, make sure the toy you choose is both flexible and large enough to not be a choking hazard.

Another way to aid in your furry loved one’s dental health would be certain treats. Greenies has treats made for both cats and dogs that can help maintain teeth, and other treats are options as well, such as bully sticks or even cow ears.

Just like people, it’s recommended that you get your pet’s teeth examined by a professional (for you, a dentist; for your pets, a veterinarian) at least once a year. Here at My Zoo the doctors always check pets’ teeth during examinations, and may recommend a professional dental cleaning. This is a procedure that involves the veterinarian cleaning plaque from (and if necessary, sometimes extracting) your pet’s teeth under general anesthesia.

If you are concerned about your pet’s dental hygiene, give us a call to schedule an appointment! Some things to look out for at home that might indicate oral health problems are: bad breath, loose or broken teeth, discolored teeth, reduced appetite, pain in or around mouth, or abnormal chewing or drooling. During January, we offer 20% off the cost of all dental cleanings, so if you have been putting off getting it done or just think it may need to be done, now’s the time to do it!

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