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February Is National Pet Dental Health Month

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Last Updated on February 15, 2021 by Aimee Stock

February Is National Pet Dental Health Month. Your pets’ dental health is important and here are just a few reasons why:

  • According Today’s Veterinary Practice, by age two 80% of dogs will have some form of periodontal disease.
  • Not addressing your pet’s dental health could lead to more severe secondary diseases like heart or kidney disease.
  • Formations of bacteria, food particles, and saliva combine and collect between the gums and teeth, which progresses into tartar buildup. Over time this can develop into periodontal disease.

Brush your pet’s teeth regularly if you can.

Read our related article: How to Brush Your Dogs Teeth

Dental Disease In Dogs: two chihuahuas with toothbrushes -February Is National Pet Dental Health Month

Promote clean teeth and fresh breath with a dental treat or chew.

  • Giving a treat like Greenies Dental Treats (options for either dog or cats) can help – plus they love these! My dogs personal favorite are those DentaLife treats. I cut and stuff pieces of them in Kong rubber balls and it keeps them entertained for quite awhile!

I love the CET line of products. It’s what we used to sell at the animal clinic I worked at. You can search the full line of items for both dogs and cats. Here are just a few selections:

Dental care is even more important with small breeds. Small breeds tend to be at an increased risk of developing dental diseases. This can be due to the crowding of teeth.

Dog Finger Toothbrush

When should a dog get a dental?

According to Pets.WebMD.com, most dogs will need oral exams, cleanings, and dental X-rays about once a year. This should begin at about 6 months of age.

What about cats?

According to VCAHospitals.com, Cats should begin these cleanings when they are 1 year of age. Nearly 70% of cats without appropriate dental care will have some evidence of periodontal disease by age three.

Is dental covered under pet insurance?

It depends on the insurer. According to Embrace Pet Insurance most companies do not include routine dental care as part of their insurance. Embrace Pet Insurance covers dental accidents and illnesses as long as they are not pre-existing to the policy purchase. No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions.”

Looking up pet insurance plans on a laptop for February Is National Pet Dental Health Month

What is the cost of having a dog’s teeth cleaned?

Generally, the cost of a typical dog dental cleaning is usually between $300 to $700. This doesn’t include special treatments for periodontal disease or tooth extractions. These extras can add several hundred dollars more to the overall cost.

Does my pet need anesthesia for a dental cleaning?

Say NO to Anesthesia-free pet dental cleanings, also referred to as a Non Anesthesia Dental (NAD). These are non-professional dental scaling’s and are doing you and your pet a disservice.

Dental Disease In Dogs: veterinarian performing dental for February Is National Pet Dental Health Month

Why does dentistry require anesthesia?

When we go to the dentist, we know that what is being done is to help keep our mouths healthy. Even if it is stressful or a bit uncomfortable. Pets do not understand the benefit of dental procedures. Because of this, he or she reacts by moving, trying to escape, or even biting.

Anesthesia is what makes it possible to perform a dental procedure with less stress and pain for your pet. Your pet will get a better cleaning because he/she is not moving around and risking injury from the dental equipment. Dental radiographs may be needed and your pet needs to be very still in order to obtain good images. This is highly unlikely if not impossible without sedation or anesthesia and again, a risk of biting.

Most pets can go home the same day of the procedure. They’ll generally wake up none the wiser, although they might be a little groggy for the rest of the afternoon.

I encourage you to visit www.avdc.org/AFD for detailed information. These are facts and answers to all of your questions about anesthesia free dental cleanings.

Dog with toothbrush

What are the signs of dental problems in dogs? cats?

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • Pain in or around the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

Dental issues may cause changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth without enlisting the help of your veterinarian. A painful animal is inclined to bite.

veterinarian examining dogs teeth

Final Note…

Veterinary dentistry procedures are important for your pets health and should only be performed by a licensed veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist.

PIN for FEBRUARY is National Pet Dental Health Month

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