Do I really need to take my dog in to get his teeth cleaned on a regular basis? This seems really expensive and, frankly, unnecessary. Most dogs just have bad breath, right?
Disturbed by the cost of doggie dental care in Garden Oaks
As you probably know, humans should visit their dentist twice a year for a dental cleaning and exam, but did you know your pet should also visit the veterinarian for teeth cleaning once a year? February is Pet Dental Health Month and keeping your pet’s teeth clean is an important part of ensuring that your pet stays healthy. Gum disease is the most common disease occurring in pets today. Plaque and tartar buildup can cause bad breath, bleeding and painful, irritated gums that affect eating and can even cause microscopic damage to the heart, liver and kidneys.
Beware bad breath, bleeding and broken teeth
There are several symptoms of dental issues in your dog that you should look out for, such as: bad breath, discoloration of the gums and teeth, bleeding, broken teeth and exposed roots. If you see any of these things happening in your pet’s mouth, see your vet for help.
Some vets offer reduced rates in February
Most veterinary clinics offer dental cleaning services (if they do not, they can refer you to someone who does). A basic cleaning for your pet’s teeth usually begins at about $200 and goes up from there, based on the condition of your pet’s teeth. During the month of February, many veterinary clinics offer discounted rates for dental cleanings, so check and see if that’s an option at your vet clinic.
The pet dental cleaning process requires anesthesia, so plan on your pet spending most of the day at the vet clinic the day of his cleaning for the procedure, as well as for observation following the cleaning.
What can you do at home?
“Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth daily, using a special toothpaste, formulated especially for pets,” said Dr. Johnathon Dodd, clinical professor at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
If daily tooth-brushing doesn’t quite fit into your busy schedule, there are pet treats on the market that promote good dental health and can be used in between brushings.
Visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s website (www.vohc.org) to see a comprehensive list of pet products that aid in dental care. Between regular tooth brushing, special, tooth-friendly treats, exams and cleanings from your veterinarian, maintaining the health of your pet’s mouth is a simple form of preventative care that can have a big impact on your pet’s general health and well being.
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Pet of the Week
Meet Ruby Rae!
If you’re looking for a dog who’ll easily assimilate into any family, you just might have found your new four-legged family member in Ruby! Ruby loves to play, cuddle, is crate-trained and gets along well with other dogs and, yes, even cats. Ruby is a 50-pound shepherd/retriever mix who is about 5 years old. Wouldn’t this gem of a girl fit perfectly into your home and your heart? If so, go to www.k-9angelsrescue.org to learn more.