February is Pet Dental Health Month, sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Pet Dental Health Month is designed to teach pet owners that proper dental hygiene is just as important for their pets as it is to them.
"Sure, eating hard, crunchy food does minimize plaque in your pet’s mouth but giving Fido dog biscuits everyday isn’t going to do anything but make him put on weight. The truth of the matter is that pets require daily dental care the same way we do. So take your pet to the vet and have their teeth checked out at least twice a year. You’ll be glad you did and so will your pet!" says Debbie Bailey, a veterinary technician for 15 years and writer for PetPeoplesPlace.com.
The AVMA’s president, Dr. Larry Corry, says that most people have no idea that dental health is so important to their pets, and that periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in dogs and cats. The AVMA recommends a 3-step plan towards good pet dental hygiene, starting with taking your pet for a dental check-up with your veterinarian. Secondly, you should begin a good dental regimen at home, and lastly you should schedule regular dental check-ups.
"Periodontal disease, an infection of the gums, is incredibly common in pets, and it can be quite serious," explains Dr. Niemiec, a board certified veterinary dental specialist. "It’s estimated that by the age of two, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal infections have been linked to diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and other life threatening disorders. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by regularly brushing your pet’s teeth and by regularly visiting your veterinarian."