February is upon us and with it comes Dental Month! By the age of three-years-old, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have dental disease. Professional cleaning removes tartar and bacteria, improving your pet's health inside and out. Pets that receive good dental care can live up to 20% longer!
Dental disease is graded in 4 stages. In Stage 1 we see inflamed and swollen gum tissue around the teeth, with plaque and tartar usually present. In Stage 2 the inflammation progresses to an infection that starts to destroy gum and bone tissue around the teeth. This can be uncomfortable and bad breath may be noticeable. By Stage 3 the continuing infection destroys more tissue around the teeth, causing bleeding of gums and loosening of teeth. At this stage, the discomfort and pain can affect eating habits and behavior. Then in Stage 4 the infection is extensive and tears down even more of the attachment tissues (gum and bone). At this point the pet is painful and teeth are at risk of being lost.
The good thing about dental disease is that it is easily preventable! The best thing you can do to help keep your pet's mouth healthy is brushing their teeth once daily. When introduced early enough or correctly, most pets come to enjoy having their teeth brushed! It becomes a treat for them and another bonding experience with you. There are also dental chews and water additives that can help keep bacteria, tartar, and plaque at bay. So go ahead, try adding some dental care to your pet's routine. They will thank you (most likely with kisses, *fresh breath* smelling kisses, which you will also thank yourself for :-) ).
Throughout February every dental patient in our hospital gets to take home a complimentary dental product to continue the good work at home. Home dental care can help increase the amount of time in between professional cleanings. There are literally no downsides to providing oral care for your pets at home, everyone wins. Start small. Start with whatever will be easiest to incorporate in to your everyday life and progress from there. Have you had success at home? We'd love to hear about it.
Get in touch
4268 Three Mile NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
After hour emergency consultations are available to clients of record until 10:00 pm. Our main line will direct to the doctor on call.