National Pet Dental Health Month

Once again National Pet Dental Health Month is here!

The Pets Need Dental Care, Too™ campaign is underway and is a good way to learn about giving pet’s good dental care. Details are available at www.petdental.com, your local veterinary surgery, or read some of Pets Need Dental Care, Too campaign below.

“August is National Pet Dental Health Month in Australia. The initiative is part of a worldwide effort to reduce incidence of the most common ailment in adult pets: oral disease.

According to veterinary research, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the time they are three. Signs of disease include: persistent bad breath, a yellow-brown tartar crust at the gum line, red and swollen gums, pawing at the mouth and face, bleeding, sensitivity to touch, changes in eating and chewing habits and depression (recognisable as listlessness).

Left untreated, pet oral disease causes significant pain through tooth decay and gum infection, and can pass damaging and even life-threatening bacteria through the bloodstream to the heart, liver and kidneys.

Veterinarian and Hill’s Pet Nutrition™ spokesperson in Australia, Dr. Karen L. Johnston encourages pet owners to see oral disease from their pets’ perspective.

“Imagine having not brushed your teeth in years,” she said. “Imagine the plaque, tartar and tooth decay setting in. Then imagine a tooth ache that you can’t say anything about to anyone.”

Dr Johnston assures pet owners that such scenarios are easily preventable with proper dental care.

“There are three ways to clean and look after pets’ teeth,” she said.

“The first is to schedule a pet dental check with your local vet, and during August, many participating veterinary clinics are offering free pet dental check ups.

“Second, gradually introduce a home brushing routine for your pet. This may sound daunting for cats and older dogs, but our website — www.PetDental.com — offers some safe and helpful tips. The Hill’s toll-free Helpline in Australia 1800 679 932 and your local vet can also offer sound advice.

“Third, buy specially formulated food that ‘squeegees’ clean pets’ teeth while they eat. Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d and Science Diet Oral Care reduce plaque, which as for people, is the major cause of gum disease.”

Dr Johnston warns pet owners NOT to use toothpaste formulated for people however, because it contains ingredients that may upset animal stomachs. She also cautions against reliance on bones, which can break teeth and cause other pet problems.”