You clearly recognize the importance and benefits of having a mouth full of healthy teeth and gums. A lack of regular and attentive care to your pet’s teeth can result in serious health implications for them.
Prevention is the key. Studies show that approximately 80% of dogs who have received little or no dental care will show signs of oral disease by age 3. Pets with poor oral health have a higher risk of heart, kidney and liver problems, which can lead to early death.
People often underestimate the steps that need to be taken with their pet’s teeth in order to maintain good health. To ensure that oral health problems do not interfere with your pet’s quality of life, pets should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis.
Don’t assume that you will know when your pet’s teeth are hurting him or her. Pets will continue to eat even if they have tooth pain simply due to hunger.
The signs and symptoms of dental disease are:
- Becoming a picky eater
- Personality change, irritability and depression
- Red, swollen and or bleeding gums
- Eating on one side and dropping food
- Bad breath
- Yellow-brown deposits (like cement) along the gum line or on the crowns
- Rubbing their face on the ground or pawing at the mouth and drooling
If you are stressed about the tooth-brushing process or are concerned about whether you’re brushing your pet’s teeth properly, ask one of the Healthy Pet Care specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store to demonstrate the proper technique for daily teeth brushing.
Please also note the following:
- Dental care for pets is critical for your pet’s health. If you are not able to brush your dog’s teeth, there are other options when you’re in between vet visits. Consider using oral rinses formulated especially for dogs. You’ll find a good variety of oral care products for cats and dogs at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada.
- Never use human toothpaste as the foaming agents can pose health risks to pets.
- Do not give your pet any type of candy, ever! Like chocolate, sorbitol-sweetened candy is toxic to dogs. Regular candy is as bad for your pet’s teeth (and yours!).
- Some toys, like nylon tennis balls, can erode the crowns of your dog’s teeth, so look for toys that provide some protection, like durable rubber dog toys.
- While many brands of dry pet food incorporate dental benefits, there are pet dental treats that are formulated to reduce tartar, plaque build-up and stains, which can also help to prevent oral health problems. Many people give their dogs a bone or rawhide as a way to help keep their teeth clean. While these will help to keep your pets’ teeth cleaner, they may also cause tooth fractures, or result in your pet ingesting bone shards. Ask our Healthy Pet Care Specialists for assistance with selecting the right product and size of bone or chew your pet. Also, keep an eye on your pets when they are chewing these products to ensure that they don’t choke any pieces that may have broken off.
- Contact your vet if you note changes in your pet’s behaviour or health. If your pet stops eating, they have bad breath, they are drooling excessively, you see inflammation of the gums, or there are damaged or missing teeth, these are strong indicators that there’s an oral health issue that must addressed by a professional immediately.
Looking after your pet’s teeth and gums is one key factor in keeping them healthy and happy for many years. You will find a wide variety of new and improved dental products for cats and dogs in neighbourhood Global Pet Foods stores across Canada. Let our Healthy Pet Care Specialists help you improve and maintain your pets’ dental health. Find a Global Pet Foods store near you at http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations
We want to see your pet’s smile!