February marks National Pet Dental Health Month! The American Veterinary Medical Association established the month-long event to remind dog owners that they need to make their pup’s oral health a priority.
In general, pup parents neglect this area of their pet’s health.
Dr. Brook A. Niemic, the president of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry reported that “only about one percent of pet owners brush their pets’ teeth.”
While that statistic is a bit alarming, it is easy to forget about maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene. After all, your dog isn’t going to remind you that he needs his teeth brushed daily.
That being said, it is necessary. If you don't brush your pooch’s pearly whites, there’s a good chance that they will get plaque which may lead to periodontal disease.
According to Veterinary Centers of America, “[p]eriodontal diseases begin with gingivitis and left untreated, the infection often spreads deeper into the tooth socket, destroying the bone.”
While it is relatively common with “more than two-thirds of dogs over three years of age” having the disease, it is preventable.
One simple way is to set an alarm at night to remind yourself to brush your pup's teeth with doggy toothpaste. Your dog may even enjoy it. Personally, my pooch is obsessed with the chicken-flavored toothpaste that I’ve been using. At this point, she thinks it’s a nightly treat and I’m not going to correct her.
On top of the brushing, you could consider giving them dental treats or dog chews to improve their oral health. It’s also important to schedule oral exams and dental cleanings once every six months.
A bonus of focusing on your pup’s oral health is that their breath will smell so much better. And who doesn’t want that?
Do you have any tips or tricks on making sure that your pup has clean and healthy teeth? If so, share them with us in the comments section!