February is National Pet Dental Month!

Why is dental care for my pet important?

Tartar and gingivitis are two of the most common problems seen by veterinarians. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, loss of teeth and if left untreated, could develop into more serious conditions such as bacterial infections of the heart, liver, or kidneys. In fact, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral and dental disease by the age of three. 

Top 3 Tips for Pet Dental Health

1. Daily Brushing: Brushing your pet’s teeth helps to remove plaque and slow the development of tartar. When first beginning to brush, be gradual and make it a pleasant experience. It is recommended to use a finger brush and you can eventually add pet toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste). Be sure to reward your pet afterward with play or a nice walk!
2. Diet: What your pet eats affects his smile. Dry foods and treats can help clean plaque from teeth. Real bones can be dangerous for your pet (raw bones, for instance, can scrape and tear internal organs and can easily become a choking hazard) and should not be used for teeth-cleaning purposes.
3. Dentistry: Talk to your veterinarian about annual or semiannual teeth cleaning. A teeth cleaning performed by your vet is the only way to remove tartar build up. Just as you would schedule a cleaning, be sure to calendar in your pet’s cleaning as well.

Helpful Dental Care Hints from Morris Animal Inn:

· Improve your pet’s dental health with our Teethbrushing Services at our Grooming Salon and Spa.
· Keep your pet’s breath smelling fresh by using the FreshPet oral hygiene products available for purchase in our lobby! 
Source: Iams Pet Wellness Council. “Top 3 Dog Dental Care Tips.” DogTime. Iams Pet Wellness Council, 1 Feb. 2010. Web. 28 Jan. 2013. <http://dogtime.com/dental-care-top-3-tips.html>.