brushing up on pet dental care

Posted by Dr. Jules Benson on Aug 04 2009

 

Pop Quiz: When was the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth?

Yes…actually brushed them, with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste (poultry or fish flavor, anyone?). If the answer is “uh…never,” you’re right in line with most pet people in the US. But your pet’s teeth need your attention. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats get periodontal disease by age three. At Petplan we see all the dental care claims that come in that could have been avoided with a few simple measures. And worse, this totally preventable disease can take two to five years off your pet’s life. So the time has come to brush up on your pet’s dental health. Here are just a few things to you can do to prevent dental disease in cats and dogs.

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Brush daily. It can reduce tartar formation by as much as 95%.*

Dry it, you’ll like it. Try switching out your dog’s wet food for dry kibble. Dry food doesn’t adhere to teeth and promote bacterial growth as quickly.

Plaque Off! For pets who resist brushing, consider applying plaque prevention products for extra help.

It’s worth a shot. Help protect your pet from some types of bacteria that cause peridontal disease and tooth loss. Ask your vet about whether or not your pet would benefit from the Pfizer Porphyromonas vaccine.

Go with a Pro. Just like us, pets’ teeth are healthier and their smiles are brighter after having their teeth professional cleaned. If your vet thinks your pet’s teeth need to be cleaned, make sure to schedule the appointment. It’s a positive step for his long-term health (not to mention his breath).

 

*According to Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine

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