According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease by their 3rd birthday.
Plaque, tartar and bacteria in the mouth may lead to periodontal disease which can spread through the bloodstream to the heart, liver and kidneys and shorten your pet's life.
Since gum disease increases the risk for other, more serious health conditions, daily home care in conjunction with annual veterinary dental exams and cleanings are essential. In fact, studies indicate that daily home brushing and regular dental care may add as much as five years to your pet's life!
Your pet's overall wellness depends on good oral health. The following factors can contribute to dental disease in your dog or cat:
Dental disease becomes more common as your pet gets older. Without proper care, dental disease can pose a problem. If nothing is done to care for your pet's mouth, periodontal disease can progress and your pet may even lose teeth. Dental disease can be painful, causing your pet to avoid or have difficulty eating meals. This may result in weight loss and an unkempt hair coat.
Some breeds have a predisposition to periodontal disease. This can occur for several reasons. Dog's with short faces like the Pug, Shih-tzu, lhasa Apso, French Bulldog, and their mixes have teeth that are overcrowded making it more difficult to keep teeth and gums clean. Many purebred cats are also predisposed to worse dental disease, especially Siamese, Abyssinians, and Persians. Daily home care is essential and special attention from as early an age as possible is necessary to maintain good dental health.
Wet or sticky food can lead to a more rapid buildup of plaque. It's important to remember that the right diet is only one part of maintaining good dental health. Regular dental evaluations and cleanings performed by a veterinarian will always be necessary. After all, we brush our teeth twice a day and still see our dentists twice a year … or at least we should.
Uh-oh - There's tartar on my fur baby's teeth!
If you notice that your pet has tartar build up on their teeth, or if you suspect that your pet has more serious issues with gingivitis, schedule a dental cleaning and consult your veterinarian.
Are you in The Woodlands? We offer state of the art dental cleanings that include full mouth dental radiographs, and our care is second to none!
Make a dental cleaning appointment for your pet today!
January Is National Walk Your Dog Month. If one of your resolutions is to become more active, walking with your dog is a great way to get moving.
Walking is not just a way for you and your pet to stay healthy, but also has numerous other benefits. Keep your pet's vaccinations up to date then, come rain or shine, make walking part of your daily routine. Here are a few good reasons why you should start today:
Dogs need to release energy
If a dog doesn’t expend extra energy, behavioral issues, such as chewing or separation anxiety, can develop. A tired dog is easier to train than a dog full of energy. Plus during the walks, you can reinforce training such as heeling, sitting, etc. If your pet is a puller, gentle leaders and harnesses can help.
Help prevent roaming
During the course of a walk, your dog will be exposed to a variety of smells, sights, and sounds. Getting out of the house is a way to fulfill a dog’s need to roam and improve his/her sense of direction.
Do It Regularly
Regular walks can improve and lengthen your pet’s life. Just like humans, dogs need regular exercise to help improve their heart function, and muscle tone.
Keep Your Dog Healthy
Over half of all dogs suffer with complications due to obesity. Exercise helps prevent and manage chronic diseases by keeping your pet at a healthy weight. Dogs with arthritis and diabetes can benefit greatly from walking.
Please keep in mind that puppies should be NOT be walked in areas with other dog traffic until they are fully vaccinated to avoid exposure to disease. They should also avoid trails in The Woodlands until fully vaccinated due to concerns about leptospirosis.
If you need to get your pet's vaccines up-to-date or if you have any concerns about your pet's weight or overall health, make an appointment with one of our caring veterinarians by clicking on the button below. We hope you all have a happy and healthy 2016!