Freshen that breath!
Does Fido or Fluffy have bad breath? It might be more than just dog or cat breath, it could indicate dental tartar and periodontal disease. In fact by age 3 most pets will have some degree of periodontal disease which could lead to other health problems and infections affecting the liver, kidney or heart. Signs of periodontal disease might include drooling, difficulty eating, bleeding from the mouth, loss of appetite or weight and of course bad breath. Your pet should be checked at least annually by a veterinarian to evaluate their oral health. Professional dental cleanings under anesthesia performed by your veterinarian are the only way to fully evaluate and clean your pet's teeth. But there are steps you can take at home to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup between cleanings. Regular brushing is the best way to maintain good oral health but it is important to never use human toothpaste which can contain ingredients such as Xylitol and fluoride which can be toxic to pets. While most pets will tolerate brushing if introduced slowly at a young age, this may not be an option for all pets. In cases where brushing is not an option, there are many other products including oral rinses, water additives, treats, diets and chew toys that may help reduce tartar buildup. February is National Pet Dental Health Month which is the perfect reason to get your pet's teeth checked by a veterinarian and schedule a dental cleaning if needed.
Wilsonville Veterinary Clinic
9275 S.W. Barber St, Wilsonville, OR 97070