February, as many of you are aware, is Pet
Dental Health month. It is the one month of the year when we focus our attention even more than usual on the health and hygiene of your cat and dog’s oral cavity. Although brushing your pet’s teeth with an appropriate enzymatic tooth gel is the absolute best method of promoting healthy teeth and gums, not all of our four legged companions appreciate the effort. The essential goal is to reduce the population of bacteria in the mouth. Brushing removes debris and plaque from teeth as well as reducing bacteria when you are using an enzymatic gel. Pets that are not real cooperative can still greatly benefit by merely placing a dab of antibacterial tooth gel on your finger rubbing it underneath the lip on the outside of the teeth and gums. Several companies also make oral treats and chews that have enzymes in them. Although these are not as effective as brushing or massaging with the gel they are one other way to promote a healthier mouth.
There is strong evidence that excessive bacteria in the mouth can cross barriers in the body and spread to blood or lymphatic fluid. Some researchers believe this can lead to cardiac and kidney disease if the bacterial loads are heavy. Many cats and small dogs tend to have more serious dental disease than larger pets. It may be coincidence but chronic kidney disease and heart disease also seem to me more common in these pets. Remember, if you are smelling a strong odor from your pet’s mouth, it is likely caused by an excess bacterial load.
So let’s all get in the habit of better oral hygiene for our pets. It’s important for their health and makes them even more “kissable”. Visit our Instagram page for a short video of how to brush your pet’s teeth.