February is Pet Dental Health Month! Just like people, pets can develop some very painful dental conditions. Taking care of your pet’s teeth is very important! A San Antonio, TX vet offers tips on caring for your pet’s teeth below.
Dogs like to chew a lot, and can easily break or crack their teeth on hard objects. They’re also quite susceptible to gum disease. We recommend brushing Fido’s teeth regularly. Start by just rubbing his teeth or gums with a finger. Offer your canine pal treats and praise to sweeten the deal. No luck? Ask your vet about other options, such as dental-formula treats and chews and/or oral rinses.
Kitties also can develop some very painful dental issues. Feline stomatitis and tooth resorption are common ones. Like dogs, cats benefit from having their teeth brushed regularly. (Tip: it’s best to start when Fluffy is a kitten, so she grows up used to having her teeth handled.)
Many smaller pets, like rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, and Guinea pigs, have open-rooted teeth. This means that their choppers never stop growing. Therefore, you’ll need to offer your furry buddy lots of chew toys, so they can wear their teeth down. Otherwise, your pet can develop painful dental issues, such as overgrown incisors. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of money here. For example, the cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towel rolls make great chew toys. Many wood and wicker items are also fine, as long as they don’t have small parts or sharp edges, and aren’t coated in varnish, stain, glitter, or dye. Ask your vet for more information.
Although each type of animal has a unique list of symptoms that can indicate dental issues, there are some common ones, such as drooling, bad breath, swelling, and dribbling food. You may also notice tartar buildup on your furry pal’s teeth. Pets with dental issues may take longer eating, prefer softer foods, chew on one side of their mouths, or go off their feed entirely. They also may act grumpy, shy away from having their faces touched, and/or lose interest in playing. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these issues. Last but not least, make sure your fuzzy friend always has fresh water.
Please call us, your San Antonio, TX vet clinic, anytime. We are always happy to help!