Say Cheese! Dental Care for your Pet

February is Dental MonthYou clearly recognize the importance and benefits of having a mouth full of healthy teeth and gums. Did you know a lack of regular and attentive care to your pet’s teeth can result in serious health implications.  Prevention is the key.  Studies show that approximately 80% of dogs who receive little  or no dental care will show signs of oral disease by age 3. Pets with poor oral health also have a higher risk of heart, kidney and liver problems, which can lead to their 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. If you are stressed about the process or are concerned about whether you are brushing your pet’s teeth properly, ask one of our Healthy Pet Care specialists at your neighborhood Global Pet Foods store to demonstrate the proper technique for daily brushing.

Below are some signs and symptoms of dental disease:

Sings of Dental Disease

Please also note the following:

  1. Dental care 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 made especially for dogs. You’ll find a wide variety of oral care products for cats and dogs at Global Pet Foods stores.
  2. Never use human toothpaste because the foaming agents can pose health risks to pets.
  3. Do not give your pet any type of candy, ever! Like chocolate, sorbitol-sweetened candy is toxic to dogs. Regular candy is bad for your pet’s teeth (and yours!).
  4. 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.
  5. While many brands of dry pet food incorporate dental benefits, give your pet special dental treats formulated to reduce tartar, plaque build-up and stains is another option to help prevent oral health problems. Many people give their dogs a bone or rawhide as a way to help keep their teeth clean. While these can help 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 in selecting the right product and size of bone or chew for your pet. Also, keep an eye on your pets when they are chewing these products to ensure that they don’t choke on any pieces that may have broken off.
  6. Contact your veterinarian if you note changes in your pet’s behaviour or health. The following usually indicates an issue that must be addressed by a professional: your pet stops eating, they have bad breath, they are drooling excessively, their gums are inflamed, or their teeth are visibly damaged or they’ve lost a tooth (or teeth). Failure to obtain professional care for dental problems can result in serious health problems for all pets.

Looking after your pet’s teeth and gums is key to keeping them healthy and happy for many years.  You’ll find a wide variety of dental products for cats and dogs at your neighbourhood Global Pet Food store.  Let our Healthy Pet Care Specialists help you improve and maintain your pet’s dental health.

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We want to see your pets smile!


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