‘Tis the Season for Pet Dental Care

pet dental careDo you always pick up a special treat for your pet at holiday time? A new toy or bit of catnip will undoubtedly be joyfully received, but one of the best gifts you can give your pet this time of year is a thorough pet teeth cleaning.

Open Up for Good Oral Health

At least one professionally completed pet teeth cleaning is recommended annually. Just like humans, plaque, bacteria, and food gather on your pet’s teeth. Without removing the build-up regularly, your pet is incredibly susceptible to developing gum disease.

Periodontal disease is, unfortunately, quite common in pets – in fact, gum disease is the most common health problem among cats and dogs.  Nearly 85 percent of all pets have some form of the disease by the time they are 3 years old, and this fact has jeopardized many a pet’s general health. Left untreated, gum disease or dental infections cause not only great pain and tooth loss, the infections can spread to your animal’s heart, kidneys, and other organs.

You don’t have to resign yourself to having a pet with oral health problems. Dental disease is absolutely treatable and preventable. Regular pet dental care from your vet – and that includes at-home brushings, begun when your pet is just a baby – is a critical preventive measure that maintains not only your pet’s teeth but also their overall well-being.

7 ways to keep your pet safe during the holidays >>

Signs Your Pet Needs a Pet Teeth Cleaning

If your pet has never had a teeth cleaning, or it’s been more than a year since their last dental cleaning, then there is no question it’s time to make a cleaning appointment.

For problems that can arise in between dental cleanings, there are often obvious signs that your pet may be suffering with oral health issues:

·         Bad breath. Dog breath or cat breath is not a side effect of being a four-legged creature. Bad breath should be considered an oral health problem and addressed immediately.

·         No interest in food. If you typically have a bit of a piggy on your hands when it comes to mealtime, any change in appetite is a sign that something is wrong with your pet. If she approaches her food but reluctantly abandons it, dental disease could be the cause.

·         Drooling. Some dogs are active droolers, but most pets, especially cats, do not drool very much. Excessive saliva could indicate a problem with dental disease.

·         Altered eating habits. You know how you might favor one side of your mouth if you have a toothache or pain. Your pet will do the same thing. Be aware of changes in their eating behavior, like frequently dropping food or eating on only one side of the mouth.

Prioritize your pet’s oral health >>

The Ease of the Modern Pet Teeth Cleaning

Your pet will undergo a thorough exam before your veterinarian gives him a pet dental cleaning. X-rays are an important part of the preparation process because they reveal anything that might be happening below the gum line. Knowing of complications ahead of time allows a vet to prevent oral health problems from developing.

For your pet’s teeth cleaning, he will be under anesthesia. Pets can have anxiety too, and if you know that your pet is already freaked out about a vet visit, a dental cleaning could put them over the edge. The anesthesia, however, is done primarily because it allows the vet to thoroughly clean your pet’s teeth without needing to restrain or convince your pet to hold still. The anesthesia also simplifies any tooth extractions that are necessary.

Ready to give your dog or cat a holiday smile? Contact the Northpointe Veterinary Hospital in Yuba City, CA, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to schedule your pet’s teeth cleaning.