Let’s be honest, our furry friends bring immeasurable joy and companionship into our lives, but sometimes, we may overlook a crucial aspect of their wellbeing – dental care.
Just like humans, pets require regular dental attention to ensure their pearly whites are kept in tip top shape so they can lead a long, healthy, and happy life.
In this blog, we will look at the reasons why pet dental care is essential, touching on everything from the impact on their overall health, dealing with bad breath and how oral health in pets can have a significant effect on their wellbeing as well as your wallet…
- Preventing Dental Diseases
If we neglected our dental health, we’d soon know about it. There’d be toothache, difficulty eating our favourite foods, bad breath, digestive issues… and, let’s be honest, we’d be at the dentist in a flash. Our pets are no different and neglecting their dental care can lead to a host of oral health issues. Dental diseases, such as periodontal disease and gingivitis, are common among pets who do not receive proper dental care. The build-up of plaque and tartar on their teeth can result in inflammation, pain, and even tooth loss. While it might seem a little odd to think about getting the toothbrush out for your furry companion, regular brushing and professional cleaning will significantly reduce the risk of these diseases and the myriad of complications that come along with them. The Hatchwells Toothbrush is available in a variety of colours and is suitable for use on both cats and dogs. Alternatively, Beaphar’s Finger Toothbrush allows you to target specific areas with a little more pressure.
- Avoiding Pain and Discomfort
We’ve all had some sort of tooth ache in the past and it isn’t pleasant. The constant throbbing in your head wears thin after a while. The thing is, out pets cannot express their pain verbally. They rely on us spotting the signs which is why it’s crucial for pet owners to be vigilant about signs of dental discomfort. The first tell-tale sign is persistent bad breath. Yes, we may make jokes about dog breath, but persistent bad breath is one of the simplest and most common signs of the onset of dental disease. So, if you do notice your pet’s breath is a little more “whiffy” than usual, have a look in their mouths and see what you can spot. Are their teeth nice and white or is there a build-up of “gunk” around the gum line. Have they chipped, cracked or broken a tooth? Are they all there?!
Other signs of discomfort include difficulty chewing, pawing at their mouths, and a reluctance to eat hard food. For example, owners often mistake a pet turning their nose up at their usual kibble as a fussiness, boredom or even mild illness. Sometimes it can be as simple as your pet having a mild toothache and the crunching on the hard biscuit making them more uncomfortable.
By prioritising dental care, we can prevent our pets from experiencing unnecessary pain and discomfort, ensuring they can enjoy their favourite treats and meals to the max. In fact, offering your dog a dental treat such as Goodboy’s Chicken with Carrot Sticks is a great way to give them a little reward while looking after their teeth at the same time.
- Enhancing Overall Health
What many of us don’t realise is that the link between oral health and overall wellbeing extends well beyond the mouth. Dental diseases in pets have been associated with a range of systemic health issues, including heart, liver, and kidney diseases. When bacteria from the mouth enters the bloodstream it has the potential to cause a number of infections in their vital organs.
Regular dental care not only keeps their teeth in the best health, but also ensures that their vitality and longevity is cared for too. If you are concerned about your ability to brush your pets’ teeth (perhaps they are less willing to let you fiddle about in their mouths) then why not consider feeding them a specific oral heath diet? For example James Wellbeloved do a complete cat food designed to help oral heath while Royal Canin’s Dental Care is a great option for your beloved pooch.
- Promoting Better Nutrition
So we’ve already touched on how dental problems can hinder a pet’s ability to eat properly. If not managed carefully, this can lead to malnutrition and weight loss.
Missing or painful teeth may make it difficult for pets to chew their food effectively and, in severe cases, they may avoid eating altogether.
By maintaining good dental health, we ensure that our pets can comfortably consume a balanced diet, caring for their overall nutritional wellbeing.
If your pet is having difficulty chewing their usual kibble, we’d recommend soaking it for 10 minutes in warm water before serving it to them. Not only does it soften the biscuit, but it releases all the tasty aromas making it irresistible too!
- Preventing Costly Veterinary Procedures
Preventive care is not only beneficial for the health and happiness of our pets but also for our wallets. Routine dental care, including at-home brushing and professional cleaning, is far more cost-effective than treating advanced dental diseases or complications. Dental procedures can be expensive, and the financial burden can be avoided by investing time and effort into a regular dental care routine for your pet. Whether you’re up for daily brushing, investing in some dental chews or even swapping over to a dental friendly food, any small changes you make can have a big difference to both their wellbeing and your vet’s bills further down the line.
Ultimately, pet dental care is not about giving them a lovely set of pearly whites and a winning smile. Rather, proper dental care is a key part of being a responsible pet owner and ensuring that their overall health and wellbeing is not affected by decaying teeth and oral infections. By incorporating regular dental care into our pet care routines, we can prevent diseases, alleviate pain, and enhance the quality and longevity their lives. And it’s never too late or too early to start. So let’s make dental care a priority for our beloved companions, ensuring they continue to bring joy and happiness into our lives for years to come.
If you have any dental related questions, why not pop in store to speak with one of the members of our super friendly team? However, please remember that if you have any concerns about your pet’s health and wellbeing to speak with your veterinary surgeon first.