The American Veterinary Medical Association dedicates the month of February to promoting dental wellness in pets, but we at Mount Airy Veterinary Associates emphasize the significance of oral care year-round. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is crucial for the overall well-being of our furry companions. Failure to address issues like excessive plaque and tartar buildup can lead to periodontal disease, an inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues, resulting in pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Untreated dental problems can then escalate, spreading harmful bacteria to vital organs such as the kidneys and heart.
Statistics reveal that up to 70% of cats and 80% of dogs show signs of periodontal disease by the age of three. Preventive measures are key to avoiding such dental issues and preserving your pet’s teeth. We have listed four ways you can protect your dog or cat’s dental health, leading to a longer, happier life for your pet.

Home Oral Care

Regular brushing remains the cornerstone of at-home dental care for pets. While daily brushing is ideal, this practice can be supplemented with dental chews, oral rinses, or specialized diets to minimize tartar buildup. Our team at Mount Airy Veterinary Associates can recommend products recognized by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for their safety and effectiveness in maintaining oral hygiene.

Use Caution with Bones and Chew Toys

Certain bones and chew toys may pose risks of tooth fractures in pets, leading to pain and potential complications. To avoid such issues, it’s advisable to refrain from offering hard or abrasive items like deer antlers, raw bones, or plastic toys. A good rule of thumb is to choose toys that yield slightly when pressed with a fingernail.

Schedule Regular Wellness Exams and Oral Evaluations

Annual veterinary check-ups, including thorough oral examinations, are vital for detecting dental issues early on. During these wellness visits, your veterinarian will assess the level of tartar and any signs of dental disease and will suggest treatment options if needed before problems worsen.

Professional Dental Cleanings

Professional cleanings performed under anesthesia are essential for removing tartar, addressing existing dental problems, and maintaining oral health. While anesthesia carries some risks, modern protocols ensure the safety of most pets undergoing dental procedures. Following treatment, you may notice your pet showing increased energy and playfulness, indicative of improved comfort and well-being.

Visit our portal to schedule your pet’s annual exam and oral evaluation to safeguard their dental health, comfort, and overall wellbeing!