Hand holding dog toothbrush.We attend to our own dental care because we know a healthy mouth is a major tenet of good health and hygiene. Similarly, pet dental care shouldn’t be undervalued or overlooked.

Beyond looking and smelling better, your pet’s overall health and longevity are linked to proper dental care. Prevention is our philosophy, and your pet can achieve a longer, healthier, happier life when we take a proactive approach.

What You Can’t See

Did you know your pet isn’t likely to skip a meal, even when he or she is experiencing oral pain? You might see an extra paw or two at the mouth and maybe some drooling, but to what extent does your pet suffer from dental pain or disease?

Chances are, your pet won’t send you a memo, and it can be difficult to zero-in on symptoms. What lurks inside your pet’s mouth may surprise you.

The Yuckies

When it comes to dental care, plaque and tartar are your pet’s worst enemies. Over time, they form what’s referred to as calculus, which can join with oral bacteria to infect your pet’s mouth. Bad breath is really just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the point at which you notice a questionable odor indicates irreparable damage may already have occurred.

It’s time to schedule a dental exam if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Discolored, missing, broken, or loose teeth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty chewing or dropping food
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Change in preference from dry to wet food

Also, you may notice a change in your cat’s personality. Instead of crying out in pain, your kitty may become more quiet and less interactive. He or she may become irritable, especially if you touch around the head. Please contact us if you need help addressing your pet’s suffering.

Providing Pet Dental Care

We conduct an assessment of your pet’s mouth, teeth, and gums during every wellness exam. In compliance with the guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association, we may also order digital x-rays to better understand the extent of decay or infection.

If it’s determined your pet could benefit from a full dental examination and cleaning, we will help you create an effective treatment plan. To keep your pet safe and comfortable, these procedures are performed under general anesthesia. Before we proceed, we acquire diagnostics to ensure your pet is a healthy candidate, and we will always address your questions and concerns.

A New Task

When it comes to brushing your pet’s teeth, it’s ideal to train a new puppy or kitten, but there’s no reason your senior pet can’t get on board.

Be patient and start by encouraging your pet to taste his or her new toothbrush and toothpaste (poultry or bacon flavors are certain crowd pleasers). Eventually, you should aim for two minutes of brushing, split between the upper and lower teeth. Concentrate on the molars where most tartar is found.

You can take your care a step further by supplementing your efforts with products endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

What it all Means

You might be shocked at how much two minutes of daily brushing can benefit your pet. Regular pet dental care can prevent periodontal disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and other systemic illnesses that affect the heart, liver, and kidneys.

The team at Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center is committed to your pet’s health, happiness, and longevity. Please let us know if your have any questions or concerns. Happy brushing!