Are your pets down in the mouth?

“Dental disease in dogs and cats is one of the most common problems we see in the surgery from day-to-day,” says John Taylor, Middleton Cheney’s resident vet. “It can be very unpleasant for our pets, leading to bad breath, pain, infection and often the loss of teeth.”

“Pets with dental problems can become lack-lustre and may find eating painful. It can also go on to cause problems for the rest of the body, with bacteria spreading via the bloodstream to attack the kidneys, heart and liver.”

“This is why pets often feel so much better after proper dental treatment,” John explains. “Owners often report that their pets seem to have a new lease of life.”

September sees the return of Pet Smile Month, a national campaign to help pet owners learn how to keep their pet’s teeth in tip-top condition.

“Getting your pet’s mouth checked by a vet is the best way to begin a new dental health regime. At this point you can discuss all the options available for tackling any existing problems and maintaining a clean and health mouth thereafter,” John adds.

There’s huge potential to improve the oral health of our pets by following a few simple steps.

1. Take your pet for a free Pet Smile Month dental health check with a vet – go to www.petsmile.org to make sure your vet is participating.

2. Check your pet’s mouth regularly yourself – look for build ups of tartar, reddening of the gums and don’t ignore bad breath – it’s often the first sign of gum disease.

3. Brush your pet’s teeth daily using a pet toothbrush and special flavoured toothpaste to help your pet enjoy the experience.

4. Feed dental chews as treats to help keep teeth and gums health

5. Discuss the benefits of feeding a special dental diet with your vet, especially if your pet refuses to have his teeth brushed.

Contact your vet or visit www.petsmile.org for more information on Pet Smile Month and how to prevent dental disease.