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Caring for Your Pet's Oral and Overall Health

Happy Pet Appreciation Day!

As much as it is important to take care of your own teeth, how have your pets been doing in terms of oral health?

Along with featuring children’s dental health on a national level, the month of February also celebrates Pet Dental Month. When pet owners trek out to go shopping for pet food, their focus usually is placed on whether their pet will readily consume the food. But from a dental health standpoint, it is important to consider the relationship between a pet’s diet and their overall oral health.

Taking care of pets’ teeth doesn't usually take priority on the list of things to do as a pet owner, and surveys show that less than 1/3 of pet owners regularly take time out to care for their pet’s teeth. 80% of adult cats and dogs usually have some dental issues, including plaque or tarter build up, cavities and gum disease. Because pet owners do not regularly examine their pets’ teeth, bad oral health in pets can lead to very serious or even life threatening oral illnesses.

When looking at pets’ overall health, it is also important to determine if the ingredients incorporated in their food is appropriate and healthy. Cats are considered obligate carnivores, needing a diet sufficient of meat to maintain overall health. Cats are unable to convert what they need to be healthy from just any food source; nutrition specifically needs to come from meat. Dogs are considered to be obligate omnivores. They can eat a part grain diet and survive; however, dogs do best when they are offered a diet rich in protein.

Here are a few tips to consider when caring for a pet’s oral and overall health:

  • Be aware: If a pet has foul breath, it is likely that there is an arising oral health issue. Foul breath in pets have been related to gum disease and/or tooth decay
  • Going in for a yearly checkup is very important; if issues go unchecked, they can lead to serious health problems down the road
  • It is possible to get your pet used to getting their teeth cleaned; the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that cat owners start training their kittens by using a finger cot or gauze to clean their gums.

 Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be more than happy to answer your questions, thoughts, or concerns about oral health. Please feel free to contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

 References:

http://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/grooming/top-ten-tips-on-how-to-keep-your-cats-teeth-clean
http://www.virtual-strategy.com/2014/02/02/pet-food-choice-affects-more-meets-eyetooth
http://dujardindesign.com/wp-content/uploads/dogs-and-cats.jpg
https://www.avma.org/Events/pethealth/Pages/February-is-National-Pet-Dental-Health-Month.aspx

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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