According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the age of three. It is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets.
Cats Have Doggy Breath, Too!
Doggy breath isn’t just a nuisance. It can be an indication of gingivitis and plaque build-up. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to serious pain and infection. Bad dental habits can lead to other health problems for all pets – dogs, cats, rodents and any other animals that have teeth.
Common signs of oral disease include:
- Bad breath
- Red & swollen gums
- Tartar buildup
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Pawing at the face
- Generalized depression
Providing a variety of safe chew toys, reducing the intake of human food, and brushing teeth daily (Dental Homecare) can help decrease the number of dental procedures your pet requires in a lifetime. It is best to start these habits while they are puppies & kittens.
A veterinarian should evaluate your pet’s oral health every year. Bacteria & food debris can accumulate around the teeth just as with humans. If left unchecked, it will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue & bone surrounding the teeth. This decay results in irreversible periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss. It is important to realize that dental disease progresses each year. The treatment becomes more involved with advanced dental disease and it may eventually become necessary to remove the affected teeth.