News & blogs Blogs and vlogs Pet Dental Health Month – Securing healthy smiles for owner and pet! 25 February 2020 In case you didn’t know, February is Pet Dental Health Month. The health of your mouth can have a significant impact on your general health and wellbeing – for pets, it’s no different! Just like us, pets can also suffer from a broad range of oral problems. In fact, over 80% of dogs suffer from some kind of gum disease while around 70% of cats are affected by dental disease by the time they are three-years-old. So, knowing how to look after their teeth is an important part of keeping your fury friend healthy. At our office we recently had a visit from an energetic Jack Russell called Charlie! As you can see by the pictures, his owner, Gill, takes good care of his teeth! We’ve got some great advice to help you do the same and help your pet gain better oral health. Regular and effective brushing Being proactive and having a great home care routine is great for helping your pet keep dental disease at bay. Owners who regularly clean the teeth of their pet will find that they stay healthier for much longer. Daily brushing, with a soft toothbrush and a toothpaste made for pets, will also help them gain fresher breath – something that I’m sure many of you will appreciate! You should avoid using your toothpaste because the fluoride in it can be harmful to pets when ingested. If in doubt, ask your vet to recommend a suitable toothpaste for your pet. Feeding time Another similarity you share with your pet is that you both need a healthy balanced diet – not just for their oral health but for the benefit of their whole body! Dental chews can be very effective in reducing the build-up of plaque especially – just make sure that they are formulated for this purpose by always reading the labelling before you buy. However, you should be wary of giving pets hard toys, raw bones or anything else they may find difficult to chew. They can increase the risk of tooth fractures and breaks. Visiting the vet Similarly to the dentist, your vet isn’t just there for when your pet has an issue. The best cure is prevention and visiting the vet regularly will help you avoid any potential problems before they arise. They may recommend a professional cleaning for your pet once a year, but they will be in the best position to tell you how often you should visit. Your vet is also the best person to ask for guidance on how to maintain great oral health in your pet(s) between visits. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions because keeping on top of your pet’s oral hygiene can have positive effects overall. For more information on how to look after your pet's teeth, please visit the Vets4Pets website and their 'Pet Advice' page.