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 February is here, and that means it is National Pet Dental Health Month.  It can be easy to overlook your pet’s oral health on a day to day basis, but they need dental care too.  Many people think “doggie breath” is inevitable.  In reality, halitosis is a sign of an oral problem. 

Dental disease causes discomfort and can lead to loss of appetite, weight loss, and systemic diseases.  Prevention is the corner stone of dental health.  Daily home care is essential, but pets also need a professional cleaning at least once a year (give or take depending on the pet). 

The simplest way to keep track of your pet’s teeth is to look at them on a regular basis and be aware of signs that may indicate a problem.  To inspect your pet’s teeth, lift the lips around the mouth, looking at the front and back teeth as closely as possible.  Be gentle and use caution so you do not accidentally get nipped.  Signs to watch for include the following: 

  • Bad Breath
  • Reluctance to chew / crying out when chewing
  • Increased salivation
  • Red, puffy or bleeding gums
  • Tartar / calculus (hard coating on teeth that is usually brown or yellow)
  • Missing or loose teeth

February is a great time to visit your veterinarian for an oral exam and cleaning, but regardless of the month, remember to keep those pearly whites sparkling. 

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If there is a heaven, it's certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them.
— Pam Brown