February is National Pet Dental Health Month! Dentist in Southwest Portland Dr. Melissa Beadnell and her team believe that every member of your family should have the best dental health possible. If you are a pet owner, take this fabulous opportunity to evaluate the dental health of your pet – these five tips can help.
1. Fresh Food and Water
Just like humans, pets need plenty of fresh water throughout the day as well as nutritious, whole food. Make sure each morning and evening that your pet’s water and food bowls are clean and refresh them as necessary. Talk with your vet about the best foods available that provide good nutrition and naturally help clean your pet’s teeth. And, as always, avoid feeding your pet from the table – pet food is specially formulated to keep teeth healthy.
2. Visually Inspect Your Pet’s Mouth
Pets love to cuddle, providing owners with plenty of opportunities to inspect their mouths. Check out your pet’s teeth and gums on a regular basis, keeping an eye out for any of the following:
- Discolored or swollen gum tissue
- Cysts or tumors
- Raw spots
- Teeth that are brown-colored or loose
- Chronic bad breath
These symptoms can indicate that there are more serious dental health issues happening with your pet. If any of these signs are observed, call the vet for an appointment to check them out further.
3. Provide Chew Toys
Chew toys are important for pets, especially for dogs. Those recommended by your vet can help protect teeth by cleaning away plaque and tartar build up and massage the gum tissue. Chew toys keep pets busy while strengthening teeth. However, be sure to talk to the vet regarding which chew toys are best for your pet – some can cause harm to your pet’s teeth if not used carefully or avoided altogether.
4. Brush Your Pet’s Teeth
Like humans, a pet’s teeth can become overrun by plaque, which hardens into tartar. A layer of tartar on a pet’s teeth is very difficult to remove without a professional cleaning. If left untreated, your pet may develop periodontal disease and eventual tooth loss.
Save your pet from these painful developments by getting his or her teeth cleaned. While a dentist cleans human teeth, a vet cleans the teeth of animals, protecting them from gum disease. Once the tartar is cleaned away, the teeth polished, and dental x-rays completed, the vet can also instruct pet owners about good at-home dental care for continued good health.
5. Make a Vet Appointment
Prevention is essential when it comes to the dental health of our pets. Making an appointment with the vet to seek preventative care for the dental health of our pets costs significantly less than getting emergency treatment later on. Plus, it can help keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come!
Once you’ve taken your pet to get his or her teeth cleaned, don’t forget about your own dental health. Call the Southwest Portland dental office of Beadnell Family Dental at 503-244-4837 to schedule your appointment!