February 13, 2013
Your Pet’s Pearly Whites
“Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.”
~Miguel de Cervantes, 1605
A healthy adult dog has 42 teeth, 10 more than we do. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that every one of his 42 teeth is as important to his overall health as ours are to us.
In an effort to educate pet owners about the need to provide their pets with good dental hygiene the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has designated February National Pet Dental Health Month.
Because of the types of bacteria that reside in a dog’s mouth, coupled with what is usually a diet low in simple sugars, only about 5% of dogs ever develop cavities, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need dental care. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to periodontal disease, and like humans, that can lead to painful swelling of the gums, tooth loss, and even infections that are life-threatening.
“Good pet owners are concerned about their pets’ health and are careful to keep their vaccinations up to date, but may forget about the importance of oral health. Great owners know that this is a big mistake, as periodontal disease is the most common health problem that veterinarians find in pets,” explains Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA.
So, what does Fido need in the way of oral hygiene? The Pets Need Dental Health Care, Too campaign advocates a 3-step program.
- Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam
- Begin a dental care regimen at home
- Schedule regular veterinary checkups
Dog Tooth Brushing 101: Watch this video to find out how to brush your pet’s teeth. of oral hygiene for your dog. You’ll be rewarded every time your dog flashes his pearly whites.