11 Feb

Contributed by Jin Park, 9 to 5 Pets

Did you know February is National Pet Dental Health Month? Recently, my dog went through some troubling dental issues so I want to take this opportunity to shed light on the importance of pet oral health. A clean and healthy mouth is important to the overall health, happiness, and well-being of your pet. If left untreated, plaque and tartar can build and progress to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to secondary illnesses that can affect internal organs and joints.

Maxwell's Tooth AbscessThat is exactly what happened to my dog. Maxwell’s dental routine included occasional teeth brushing, dental treats, and recent dental cleaning at the vet. Unfortunately, he developed periodontal disease. Even with the cleaning, it did not stop him from developing a tooth abscess. Although he did not show any signs of pain, a tooth abscess can be extremely painful for your pets. He is currently on antibiotics and will most likely need to remove the impacted tooth. To avoid injuries and unnecessary pain like Maxwell had to endure, I have created a list of items that can help your pet’s mouth stay clean and healthy!

The most important step to keeping a healthy mouth is daily teeth brushing. 9 to 5 Pets Blog has shared this AVMA video on a previous post that demonstrates easy step-by-step instructions on how to teach your pet to accept daily teeth brushing. I have opted for dental wipes for Maxwell because he has a tiny mouth and I have found it easier to use the wipes instead of a toothbrush. Dental wipes have similar benefits as teeth brushing to keep the gum lines and teeth healthy. Maxwell has been enjoying TrueBlue Pet Products Dental Swipes which is formulated with baking soda and peppermint to fight plaque, tartar, and bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease.

Maxwell SmilingI’m also incorporating dental treats and water additives to his routine. Maxwell’s all time favorite dental treat also lands on Veterinary Oral Health Council’s (VOHC) list of accepted dental products for dogs. Whimzees dental treats are easy to digest and are a safe solution for sensitive dogs. ORATENE water additive has also been great to help keep his teeth clean. This water additive is safe for both dogs and cats and is formulated with enzymes that effectively inhibit odor-causing bacteria and reduce plaque biofilm formation.

Lastly, choosing a vet that is fully capable of examining your pet’s oral health is important. A dental checkup and cleaning should include all the necessary steps to assess the teeth externally and internally. Maxwell’s vet failed to take x-rays to examine the health of the entire mouth which I believe led to his tooth abscess. Always do your research, ask for recommendations from trusted sources, and ask questions at the vet to avoid unnecessary negligence.

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