In the animal world, August is celebrated as 'Pet Dental Awareness Month'.
It's a great reminder that we need to give some attention to what's happening inside the
mouths of our fur babies.
Dental disease is a common issue diagnosed by vets and can start from as young as two
years of age.
The good news is that you can do things at home to help prevent dental disease in your pet.
Having 6-monthly check-ups with your vet is also recommended. They're experts at spotting
the early signs of dental disease, and as a dentist does for us, your vet can perform a scale
and clean on your pet if needed.
Let's look deeper into dental disease and how you can help your pet.
How does dental disease affect my pet?
Think of your pet's mouth as the gateway to the rest of their body.
When their teeth and gums become infected (after bacteria has built up), this infection is
prone to travel to other areas of their bodies.
Vets have found that dogs and cats with dental disease often progress to having heart, liver
or kidney disease, all of which can be prevented with proper dental care.
Animals are usually very good at hiding their pain, so it's up to us as pet owners to stay on
top of their dental health.
The signs of dental disease to look out for
Take a look inside your pet's mouth. If they have any of the following, it may be a sign
they're suffering from gum disease, so it's time to see a vet.
Bad breath (beyond the usual dog/cat breath)
Stains on their teeth
Red or bleeding gums (a sign of gingivitis)
More than usual saliva and drooling
Soreness around their jaw when you pat or touch them
Difficulty chewing their food (e.g. being turned off dry food)
Swelling around the jaw area
Rubbing their face
Top 5 ways you can help prevent dental disease occurring in your pet
Dental disease can be nasty and affect the lifestyle of your pet. But unlike many other
diseases, it is preventable.
Once you know the importance of dental health in your pet, you'll find many things you can
do at home to help prevent dental disease.
Brushing their teeth daily – you can buy pet toothbrushes and dental care products from pet shops or your local vet.
A daily dental chew stick – there are plenty on the market, and if you're unsure what to buy, ask your vet or look for natural products.
Swapping their food for a prescription dental diet – most of the top brands will have a dental care option.
Giving them a bone to gnaw on – make sure it's raw, meaty and not cut, or try chicken necks for small dogs or cats.
Feeding them cubes of raw meat like lamb hearts or gravy beef – this has plenty of connective tissue, which is excellent for pets who can't chew on a bone.
Do you need help getting your pet to the vet?
If you don't have time to take your pet to the vet for a check-up, why not book pet transport?
As a qualified pet minder, I'm here to help if you need someone to take your fur baby to the
I can also pop over during the day, check on them and take them for a walk.
Here's a list of all my services.
Using my new online booking form, you can book a pet minding service online, including dog
walking and pet sitting.
Remember, August is Pet Dental Awareness Month, so check their teeth and make an
appointment with your vet for a dental check.
Until next time, pat your fur babies for me!