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 can be 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, former president of the AVMA. In fact, according to the AVMA, by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken.

So, what does Fido need in the way of oral hygiene? The Pets Need Dental Health Care, Too campaign advocates a 3-step program.

  1. Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam
  2. Begin a dental care regimen at home
  3. Schedule regular veterinary checkups

To help you with Step 2, watch this video that shows you how to brush your dog’s teeth. You’ll be rewarded every time your dog flashes his or her pearly whites!

At DogWatch, we care about every aspect of your dog’s health from teeth to paws! To learn more, check out our Dog Healthcare archive. And to learn how DogWatch Hidden Fences can help keep your pet safe in your yard and in your home, visit!