February is National Pet Dental Health Awareness month. Although we are always trying to get the word out about how important it is for your pet to have a healthy mouth, February is the month that we try to emphasize it. Think about it, we as humans brush our teeth twice daily, floss regularly (hopefully) but still need to have a professional cleaning at least once a year. Our pets can’t brush their teeth and unfortunately, according to the latest statistics, only about 5% of pet owners brush their dogs or cats teeth on a regular basis! We see many cases of dental disease on a daily basis that could have been prevented with proper, professional dental care. It doesn’t take a lot of work to keep your pet’s mouth healthy and remember, a healthy mouth will help keep your pet happy and healthy.
As we stated earlier, one of the foundations for a healthy mouth is proper home care. This begins with regular tooth brushing. Although the process may seem impossible, with a little patience and training, you can get your dog or cat to accept the brushing. Many even begin to enjoy the process. Our veterinary technicians will be happy to give a demo if your are in our Tampa animal clinic or go view our how-to videos which includes a video demo of brushing.
The second most important aspect of oral health is regular examinations from your veterinarian. Our Tamp vet team recommends yearly visits at a minimum to help identify any oral health issues. Once again, the saying of early detection leads to better treatment outcomes applies. If we can get to your pet’s mouth before any major problems are occurring (loose teeth, bad breath, gum disease, etc) it will keep your pet healthier as well as be less expensive. Remember, it is a lot more expensive to perform oral surgery for a tooth extraction than it is to have a routine cleaning performed! If you haven’t had your pets teeth evaluated or cleaned in awhile, call and make an appointment. You could be saving your pet’s life by doing this.
Being a small animal veterinarian in Tampa Florida, we get to see many dogs and cats who live long lives. As our knowledge of preventative care increases, and our patients are receiving better care, their quality of life increases dramatically. One of the most important things that this includes is oral / dental care. If you have any questions about this topic, or any other veterinary topic, contact our animal clinic in Tampa FL at 813-289-3925 or [email protected]