Good oral hygiene is critical for your pet’s overall wellbeing

To prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and stinky dog breath, it is important to have hygienic teeth-brushing tendencies for our four-legged friends.
Updated: Feb. 4, 2023 at 11:00 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Stinky “dog breath” can cause pet owners to shy away from their furry friends. But the odor is often a sign of a larger issue.

February is “Pet Dental Health Month” and here are some tips to keep your pet’s breath minty fresh.

Maintaining a pet’s dental hygiene should be thought of in the same way owners maintain their own dental health. Brushing daily is the best way to make sure pets have healthy teeth and gums, but that can be difficult if their pet is uncooperative.

Many animals can develop periodontal disease which can cause tooth loss, mouth pain, and oral infections. In more serious cases organ failure.

“Truly dental disease and periodontal disease in all of our pets both cats, dogs, horses, and things like that it’s not a matter of if they’re going it’s just simply when they’re going to get it. Some animals are certainly affected for various reasons at younger ages than others, some will be quite older until they have some serious changes,” said Dr. Serena Heig with Mountain View Animal Hospital.

In addition to taking care of a pet’s dental hygiene at home, owners should take their animals to the vet at least once a year for an oral examination.

During this process, pets are put under anesthesia so the veterinarian can provide a thorough cleaning and check for problems.

Heig added, “When we have a dental cleaning, we can take X-rays, we can scale off calculus, we can look for bone loss, get rid of plaque accumulation, signs of a broken tooth or painful tooth and we can fix those too.”

Frequent brushing and annual exams, and products such as dental chewing sticks can help maintain your pet’s oral hygiene.