To celebrate National Pet Dental Health month I’m kicking off a 3-part series on pet dental health! To start, I’m going to discuss why pet dental health is so important. Pet dental health month isn’t just a ploy to sell doggy toothpaste or teeth cleanings. Poor dental hygiene can negatively impact your pet’s overall health and well-being.
By age 3, 80% of dogs show signs of gum disease (source: Dr. Fosters & Smith). Which is a pretty big deal when you consider that an untreated dental infection can spread to organs like the heart and kidneys, potentially putting your pets life at risk (source: AVMA). So it’s never too early to start a dental hygiene routine. The younger the better in my opinion. Even as a puppy, you can start practicing with a toothbrush so they get used to having it in their mouth. If you can train them from a young age, it (hopefully) won’t be a stressful event when they get older and it really matters.
Most importantly, studies have shown that pets with proper dental care can live up to two years longer (source: Manhattan Beach Animal Hospital). How many of us have said, “I would give anything for more time with my dog”. As it turns out, there is something we can do. I know I can get lax about it too, but events like Pet Dental Health month are a great reminder of why I need to stay on top of it!
So, what do you do to keep your pet healthy? There are a myriad of products on the market and it can seem overwhelming. There are a wide range of options, from specialty foods and treats, water additives, toothpastes and gels as well as veterinary dental cleanings to all natural solutions.
In the rest of my pet dental health series, I will debunk some of the myths, explain what products are actually recommended by veterinarians, and share with you my personal favorite products and what works for me. Stay tuned!