Dental Care, it’s necessity for you, but do you include dental care for your pets? If you don’t, maybe now is a good time to start! The bacteria that lurk in a pet’s mouth may be the cause of bad breath and more. Bacteria accumulation can lead to oral disease and increase the risk for disease in other organs, such as the heart, liver and kidneys, according to research.

The American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) reports that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three. In fact, oral disease is the most common health problem treated in small animal clinics today.

Your pet needs dental care — regular, professional care from your veterinarian, as well as care at home from you. The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association has three steps to a successful home dental care program that will keep both you, and your pet, happy and healthy!

  1. Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam. Don’t wait for his annual checkup if you suspect a problem.
  2. Begin a dental care regimen at home. Your veterinarian can suggest steps that may include brushing your pet’s teeth. One of the most convenient and effective ways to combat oral disease is feeding specially formulated foods proven effective in combating plaque and tartar buildup. The Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, an organization initiated by members of the American Veterinary Dental Society to guide consumers, appears on products that meet defined standards for plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats.
  3. Schedule regular veterinary checkups. These are essential in helping your veterinarian monitor the progress of your pet’s dental health routine. At least an annual visit is very important.