February is the shortest month every four years. Because dental care is such an integral part in helping maintain your pets’ robust health, FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital has chosen this abbreviated month to celebrate Pet Dental Health Month. February is truly the optimum time for pet parents to set up an appointment for their pets to get their annual checkup and teeth cleaning.
If you are wondering why keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy is critical, here a few reasons FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital is stressing its importance to pet owners to make them aware about how crucial dental cleaning is in maintaining your pet’s overall health.
In the same way oral bacteria and disease can affect the human system, the same is true for your pet. One of the most common clinical conditions in dogs and cats is periodontal disease. Bad breath can be a symptom of this serious medical condition. Periodontal disease can not only damage both your pet’s teeth and gums but the bacteria can migrate into the pet’s internal organs. Dental cleaning removes tartar and polishes the teeth to their “pearly whites.” These finishing touches help to keep teeth clean, healthy and also to assist in preventing systemic illness.
Although February is set aside as Pet Dental Health Month by many veterinary clinics around the country, what needs to be done during the eleven remaining months which are just as important? Dr. John R. Lewis, the assistant professor of Dentistry and Oral Surgery at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, emphasizes that “Dental health is not just a month-long proposition, but rather a life-long effort.” Even though there are an increasing number of owners who are daily brushing their pet’s teeth, at the same time Dr. Lewis is curious about why it is that so many pet owners in his practice have never considered brushing their pet’s teeth as a regular part of their pet care.
Lewis said, “Make no mistake. Daily brushing is the single most important and least expensive thing clients can do for their pet to maintain dental health and perhaps contribute to overall health.” Since brushing is a very effective way to maintain their pet’s excellent oral health he highly suggests owners should brush their pet’s teeth daily, or at least every other day using a soft-bristled pet dental brush or other device.
There is a wide variety of “taste–tested” dental care products on the market today – affordable fingertip brushes, electric toothbrushes, veterinary appropriate tooth pastes and liquids. FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital highly recommends you consult with your veterinarian prior to purchasing any products in order to get the most appropriate teeth cleaning device for your pet.
It’s only natural that some pet owners may be initially concerned about whether their furry family member will be accepting of, and cooperative about having their teeth brushed. However, owners will shortly be amazed about how quickly their pets can become accustomed to this simple daily part of their care. All it really takes is patience and consistency, followed by a few rewarding treats. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will be happy to show you the best and easiest ways to introduce your pet to this relatively simple task.
It goes without saying that even for folks who regularly brush their pet’s teeth, an annual scheduled professional dental checkup and cleanings are advised. In celebration of Dental Month, FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital is offering $20 off anesthetic dentals scheduled in February. Give us a call today at (386)734-9899 to take part in celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month by making an appointment for your pet’s dental care.
Check out the Dental Care page to learn more about how FloridaWild can help your pet.
By Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW (Ret.)