Pet Dental Health Month
by Perk Valley Pet Eatery
February 5, 2019
Pet Dental Health Month – By Tracy Jaworski, PVPE’s Marketing & Events Coordinator
February is National Pet Dental Health Month! Despite its name, pet Dental Disease not only affects the teeth, gums and mouth, it also impacts the entire animal’s body. Dental Disease is an infection of the teeth, gums, and surrounding structures. Because animals do not brush their teeth, food accumulates on the teeth and bacteria grows on the food. Dogs and cats need help to keep teeth clean and free of plaque and tartar to avoid serious medical problems. Infection can spread into the bone and supporting tissue, causing tooth decay and bone loss which can lead to loose teeth even fractures of the jaw. Over time, the bacteria move into the gums and adjacent tissues, causing an infection that ultimately can spread to other areas of the body. Poor dental health can lead to serious Dental Disease, which may lead to other diseases in a pet’s body. Just a sample of those diseases may be sepsis (infection of the bloodstream), heart disease, liver disease, and diabetes. Untreated Dental Disease can lead directly to a number of major complications as well, including the following: tooth pain, tooth loss, tooth resorption, weight loss, sinus infections, difficulty in chewing and decreased life span.
***THINK ABOUT THIS!***
- -Up to 90 percent of cats over age 4 have some form of dental disease.
- -More than 80 percent of dogs over age 3 have active dental disease.
- -Many animals with dental disease, despite having a serious medical condition, will NOT show symptoms.
- -60% of pet parents do not provide the dental care that is recommended as essential by their Vet.
- -1 in 3 pet owners assume bad breath is ‘normal’ for pets. It’s NOT. Bad breath is most often a sign of Dental Disease.
- -Pet dental cleanings may help extend your pet’s life!
Although all this information may seem scary and overwhelming, there are steps you can take to prevent Dental Disease in pets. Regular brushing of your pet’s teeth is crucial. In addition, try to schedule cleanings and thorough exams with your Vet before any significant signs of disease are present. Be sure your Vet is checking Fido or Fluffy’s teeth and gums at every Vet visit to monitor dental health. Most Vets recommend a professional cleaning once a year. Yes, professional dental cleanings by your Vet may be expensive and vary due to such factors including age of the pet (determines the pre-op blood work), tooth extractions performed, and medications prescribed after the procedure. Another factor may be if dental x-rays are taken both before and after the procedure (which is highly recommended). Being proactive in your pet’s dental health will go a long way in avoiding costly dental surgery and extractions. More importantly, it will improve your pet’s health and make their mouth and teeth less painful. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Speaking from personal experience, my own kitty Fluffy who is 15, had dental surgery a year ago. I knew he was very overdue, so I was preparing myself for a few extractions because my Vet said his teeth were “pretty bad” and he had serious Dental Disease. Sadly, it turned out that my poor baby needed SIX teeth extracted and that included 3 out of 4 canine teeth. The Vet actually called me while he was under anesthesia and said his teeth were even worse that she predicted after she reviewed the dental x-rays before the procedure to see the extent of the decay and possible infection. The Vet also took x-rays after the surgery to make sure they got all the tooth fragments out and to make sure they were clean extractions. This is SO important that your pets have dental x-rays before and after the procedure. The good news was that he did great during the procedure! I took him home that night with pain medication on board and antibiotics for a month due to the infection in his bone. I vowed from that point on to never neglect the dental health of my fur babies again!
Thankfully, Perk Valley Pet Eatery carries many products for pet dental health including special dog chew toys, treats, water additives, and pet toothbrushes/toothpastes just to name a few. Have you ever considered changing to a Raw food diet for your cat or dog to help with dental health? Raw diets help prevent tartar build up, as the meat contains natural enzymes. PVPE has several frozen and freeze-dried Raw options available for your dogs and kitties including meaty bones and Raw Goats Milk! Check out our Pet Dental endcap this month for a savings of 15% off when you purchase two (2) or more items!
Please stop in anytime or call 610-454-0045 to schedule a one-on-one nutrition counseling session with our management team to discuss how you can improve your pet’s dental health TODAY!