Do Pets Really Need Dental Care?
It may seem as though teeth-brushing and dentist visits are only required for humans. However, vets recommend dental care for pets, too! Do you really need to brush your dog’s or cat’s teeth and schedule regular dental cleanings for your pet? The short answer is YES!
Here are the top reasons why pets really do need dental care.
Call today to schedule an appointment.
Tooth & Gum Problems Cause Bad Breath
Despite common misconceptions, doggy breath is not normal. The smell of bacteria may gross you out every time you get a whiff of your pup’s breath. This is a sign that your dog’s teeth and gums need attention before the problem worsens.
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Gum Disease Is Incredibly Common in Pets
Dental care is one of the most commonly overlooked responsibilities of owning a pet. For this reason, as much as 70% of cats and 80% of dogs age three and older have periodontal disease — a totally preventable condition! This advanced form of gum disease is characterized by inflamed gums and other structures that support the teeth.
In addition to causing bad breath, gum disease can be painful and lead to tooth loss. This could make eating difficult, forcing your dog or cat to swallow food whole and experience digestive issues as a result.
Dental Problems Can Affect Your Pet’s Overall Health
Oral disease is linked to all sorts of health issues in humans and animals alike. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease, in particular, can cause problems with the heart, liver, and kidneys. Ultimately, if you keep the teeth and gums healthy, you keep your pet’s whole body healthy!
Preventative Dental Care for Pets Can Save You Money
As if keeping your pet free of pain and discomfort wasn’t enough, preventative oral care can save you money by avoiding costly treatments later. Dogs and cats are very good at hiding pain — in fact, it’s a survival mechanism.
This means you may never know your pet has a dental problem until it becomes severe. Preventative care can help you catch and treat problems early so they never advance to a painful, expensive-to-treat stage.
Provide Dental Care for Your Pet at Home and at the Vet’s Office
Then, schedule professional teeth cleanings once a year for your dog or cat. In addition to removing tartar and helping prevent gum disease and cavities, your vet can check for painful abscesses, fractures, and other abnormalities with dental X-rays for pets.
Schedule Pet Dental Care at Germantown Vet Clinic
Once you decide to make dental care a priority, choose Germantown Vet to perform the services your pet needs. Our advanced vet hospital is outfitted with all the equipment necessary to provide your pet with the best dental care.
We also offer affordable vet dental plans for just $21 per month! We make it easy to maintain your pet’s health without unexpected vet bills.
Pet Dentistry FAQs
How do I schedule a dental appointment for my pet?
Do dogs really need their teeth cleaned?
Your dog’s teeth are as prone to plaque and tartar as yours. Regular cleaning will prevent decay, improve their breath, and avert gum inflammation. If you put off a professional cleaning for long enough, your favorite pooch might need treatment under anesthesia. Infections and abscesses are more than just expensive — they’re also painful. Annual care will improve your pet’s health and quality of life.
How often should I have my pet's teeth cleaned?
We generally recommend that your pet have an annual dental cleaning.
Is it too late to start brushing my dog's teeth?
It’s never too late to start a dental hygiene routine for your pet. The sooner you start brushing, the healthier your pet’s teeth will be. That said, years of neglect come with cavities and gum disease, so brushing might not be enough. It’s best to request a comprehensive dental assessment and professional cleaning as soon as you notice dental symptoms.
What are common signs of dental problems in dogs?
Dental problems present as odorous breath, swollen gums, and excessive drooling. Your dog might even become reluctant to eat, so unexplained weight loss could follow. Healthy teeth and gums are scentless, so treat doggy breath as a red flag, too. More severe problems might lead to facial swelling and missing teeth.
Veterinary dentistry is one of the most overlooked responsibilities of dog ownership. It’s important to stay alert to dental symptoms, particularly when you spot signs of an infection.
What are the signs of tooth pain in dogs?
Like you, your dog will lose interest in food that’s difficult to chew when they’re experiencing dental pain. If they’re chewing slower than normal, take this warning sign seriously.
In addition, your pet might drool excessively and drop food while they chew. If your dog is pawing at their mouth or has suddenly become uncomfortable with facial touching, it might be time to visit the dentist.
Does my pet need a dental specialist?
We can perform many animal dentistry services in-house that ordinary veterinary hospitals cannot, so you may be able to avoid the added expense of taking your pet to an animal dentistry specialist.
What should I do if my pet has a broken tooth?
Broken teeth are common among pets. Several species of animals are notorious for chewing on objects, which can ultimately lead to broken teeth.
What should you do when your dog's teeth are rotting?
Dog saliva is more alkaline than humans’, so your furry friend is less prone to cavities than you are, but that doesn’t mean it will never happen. If minor cavities have progressed into widescale rot, daily brushing can help the teeth to remineralize.
Regularly applying fluoride can encourage healing if the problem is minor enough. Dental treats and chew toys can also help, but the only permanent cures for rotting are composite fillings or teeth removal.
Will my pet be in pain after their dental procedure(s)?
Germantown Vet uses anesthesia to minimize or remove all discomfort for your pet during dental procedures.
Are you trained to perform pet dentistry?
How do you clean my pet’s teeth?
Since most animals won’t sit still for the length of time or discomfort required for pet dentistry services, anesthesia is required.
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