February is National Pet dental Health Month-so make a resolution to start (or continue) a dental health plan for your furry friends!
Many people scoff at the idea of oral care for pets, but proper dental hygiene is more than a matter of making your pooches breath fresh. Without care, plaque builds up and turns into tartar. Bacteria begins to grow and eat away at teeth and gums. Dental abscesses release endotoxins and bacteria, which can pass through the bloodstream and permanently damage vital organs such as the heart, liver, lungs and kidneys. This can shorten your pets life, not to mention the pain bad teeth and gums can cause! Without oral care, 80% of dogs (and cats) have early oral disease by age three. As grandma always said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Starting an oral hygiene program early will get your dog used to the process. Use a finger brush or long, soft toothbrush. Use a pea size dollop of dog toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste, as it can make your dog sick to her stomach. To start brushing an older dog’s teeth, just use a healthy amount of patience and perseverance. (meat or peanut flavored toothpaste helps as well!).
With patience and a good attitude, you can improve your dogs life through oral hygiene. Your efforts will be rewarded with a healthier, happier life for your four footed friends...and sweeter kisses for you!