“Why is this your favorite time of the year, Dr. Pam?”
Why, thank you for asking! Because February is National Pet Dental Health Month.
I believe that good dental care is the most important thing we can give our four-legged family members! Okay, weight control is the most important, but dental care is absolutely the second most important!
You probably have lots of questions about dental care (and may wonder why I feel so passionately about proper pet dental care), so let’s start at the beginning.
First of all, no matter the age of your pet and remember this one thing above all: ANY bad mouth odor is BAD. Dogs should have neutral smelling breath. If you wrinkle your nose when you take a whiff of your dog’s mouth, there is very likely a problem. If your dog is a puppy, do not confuse puppy breath with bad breath. Puppies will have some bizarre smells in their mouths as they lose teeth. Bizarre does not necessarily equal BAD. BAD equals BAD. If your dog is an adult, peel back the gums. Look at the tooth/gum juncture. There should be pink (not red) gums and white or cream teeth (not brown, black, or grey). Additionally, the area in between the teeth should be free of calculus (calcified plaque, often called tartar) and debris.
Cats should also have minimal breath odor. Cats commonly develop severe gum disease (periodontal disease) that shows up as severely inflamed and red gums right at the gum line and a millimeter or two thick around every single tooth!
If you are wondering if your dog or cat needs professional attention, snap a picture of their mouth with the lips pulled back and text it to me at 801-783-7974. I will happily help you decide if home care will be enough or if you need to get your furry companion seen (clients or non-clients alike!).
Next week we will talk about how to start a home dental care and which products are worthwhile and which are a waste of money!
Yours in Happy, Healthy Teeth,