If you were able to attend our dental care workshop: Preventing canine and feline dental disease, you heard Dr. Andrea Putt, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital, talk about the importance of BRUSHING your dog’s or cat’s teeth. Dr. Putt stressed the importance of DAILY brushing. She also said that it’s not so much what is on the brush that matters– but the act of BRUSHING itself — that is most beneficial to your pet. So if your pet loves delicious cat or dog food, peanut butter, soft cheese spread – or flavored pet toothpaste – BRUSH AWAY with any of them! (Just NEVER use human toothpaste!) Dr. Putt even mentioned that she sees one pet owner who flosses her Yorkie’s teeth!
Yorkie’s – as well as other small dogs – are way more prone to dental disease than mid-size and most big dogs, Dr. Putt said. Also prone to dental problems are dogs with fine, narrow noses – such as Greyhounds and Collies.
Brushing can save money on your dog’s or cat’s dental care and also goes a long way to helping your pet maintain a healthy mouth and teeth.
Read more below about how to brush your pet’s teeth. Just a few minutes each day can make a huge difference!
And just like I’ve pointed out for dogs, these products do NOT replace the need for regular veterinary exams. Cats, like dogs, can get:
Broken and loose teeth
Oral and facial cancers
Root problems (why your pet needs dental x-rays!)
In addition, cats can get a SEVERELY PAINFUL dental problem called RESORPTIVE LESIONS. These lesions often appear as red dots on the tooth and they can eat away at the rest of the tooth and root. Teeth with the lesions are often very weak and prone to break. Cats with resorptive lesions often have a difficult time eating and will drool or their mouth will “chatter” due to the pain.
So regular dental care for your cat is particularly important. To me, the best thing about oral care products is that they get pet owners to be more observant and take a better look at your pet’s mouth.
So while you are brushing your cat’s teeth – or wiping on that gel, be sure you to take a look at your cat’s mouth. If you spot redness or something that doesn’t look right, contact your vet.
We are hoping that you can join us on February 18 for our next Pawsitively Healthy workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease. Click here to register. Our speaker is Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.
Elsewhere in this blog, I talk about some signs of dental disease in your dog or cat. Take a few moments to see if your dog or cat will allow you to look at his/her teeth and gums. A friend of mine routinely rubs her hand around and puts the tip of her finger into her cats’ mouths to get them used to this.
If you are able to take a look at your dog’s or cat’s mouth, try to take note of what you see. Are gums read? Do teeth look yellow or brown? Does your pet flinch in pain when you do this?
If possible, see if you can take a picture of what you see. Do NOT force it. But if your pet will let you, you will have something to show Dr. Putt at the seminar. While she cannot diagnose dental disease from a photo, it will provide a starting point to see if your pet should be seen by a veterinarian.
Below is a photo that my friend took of her cat’s mouth. Again, my friend gets her cats used to having their teeth checked by routinely touching and playing with their mouths. So this was an easy picture for her to take!
Pet health experts estimate that about 70 percent of all dogs and cats have some form of dental disease by age 3. Dental disease is especially prevalent in SMALL BREED DOGS due to tooth overcrowding.
As in humans, bad teeth can be extremely painful for your pet. However, dogs and cats often HIDE THEIR PAIN, a throw-back to living in the wild and protecting themselves from potential predators. So, in many cases, your dog or cat can be suffering from dental disease and you may not know it.
This is one more reason why annual exams (and twice annual for older pets) by a veterinarian are important. Between exams, watch for these signs:
Red or swollen gums
Yellow or brown teeth
Broken or loose teeth
Diminished appetite and / or difficulty chewing
If you spot any of the above, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Find out more about dental disease on February 18 at our Pawsitively Healthy workshop Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease with Andrea Putt, DVM of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.Click here to register.
Imagine if you never saw the dentist! Getting TEETH AND GUMS checked and cleaned is just as important as any other type of exam for your dog or cat. In fact, in some ways it may be more important since a LACK of good dental care can lead to serious illness – such as heart and kidney disease and more.
Join us on February 18 for our Pawsitively Healthy workshop Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease. Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital will share her perspectives on this important topic including helpful tips on what you can DO AT HOME to help prevent dental disease. Click here to register.
Brushing your pet’s teeth, proper nutrition and regular veterinary check-ups are all things you can do to make sure your dog or cat has good oral health. Dr. Putt will share with you her thoughts on which products do the best job and how you can provide dental care at home to even the most temperamental pets.