Pet Dental Health Month in February reminds dog owners to provide regular dental care

bulldog underbiteThe American Veterinary Association (AVMA), an organization dedicated to advancing the science of veterinary medicine, has earmarked February as National Pet Dental Health Month. The AVMA reports 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease by the age of three!

Why should we care about our pets’ dental health?  It’s more than just bad breath or discolored teeth. The bacteria from your pet’s mouth and, especially, from dental decay, finds its way into the bloodstream. This bacteria then infuses major organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs, which can lead to serious and costly illnesses.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association‘s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey reports that only 14% of dogs and 9% of cats receive dental care at the veterinarian’s office. Your veterinarian can teach you how to provide routine dental care at home and can also provide annual dental cleanings at the vet’s office. Like annual examinations, vaccines and routing testing for parasitic infections, an annual dental examination and cleaning, as well as routine, in-home dental care, is crucial to your pet’s overall health.

As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Preventative dental care will save pet parents costly treatment for serious illnesses and dental extractions.

This article was written by Jeanette Allard, director of the Thomas Beath Veterinary Hospital in Stafford, Va. TBVH provides affordable, high quality dental care. Schedule your pet’s annual dental examination and cleaning at 540-371-7729.