Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Pet
February may be known as "Dental Health Month" nationally, but it's really important that we pay attention to our pets' dental hygiene all year long. It's safe to say that brushing your pet's teeth is not an easy task nor is it common practice by most pet owners, and that's ok! Major kudos to you if you do, but for those of us that don't, or can't, we rely a bit more on prophylactic dental cleanings by the vets and technicians to maintain our furry family member's dental health.
Here's the long story short: dental hygiene is important ALL year long. Not just in February when you hear about it most. Dogs and cats age significantly faster than we do and depending on breed, age, size, genetics, etc. dental disease can escalate quickly and can cause liver and kidney issues, or even worse lead to heart failure.
Signs that your pet may have something going on in their mouth include:
- Bad breath
- Broken or loose teeth
- Retained baby teeth
- Teeth that are discolored
- Abnormal chewing or excessive drooling
- Reduced appetite
- Pawing at face
- Pain or discomfort
Of course we know that anesthetized dental procedures come with concerns for cost. Some ideas to help prolong the need for a professional cleaning include but are not limited to:
- Dental chews such as Greenies, CET or other brands with Chlorhexidine (read labels, some of these can be very calorie-dense and contribute to weight gain)
- Hard/dry kibble; special dental formulations such as Hills t/d will help even more to reduce tartar buildup and prevent gingivitis
- Brush their teeth
- Use an oral rinse or gel
- Try a water additive
It's common for us to hear that clients want to wait until February, dental month, to save some money on dental procedures. At SBPH we can now say stop waiting and do it sooner because we have implemented a new incentive for clients who want to have their pet's teeth cleaned sooner rather than later: if you schedule the dental procedure within 30 days of exam (when dental health has been assessed) we will discount the full-mouth x-rays $50!
As a courtesy to our clients we will do one last year with a special discount just for February dental cleanings: 2019 will be the last year of 10% discount off of the dental prophylaxis (cleaning) only, discount will not apply to extractions, x-rays or any other services. The x-ray discount will not apply during this time.
Additional Information and Resources:
Healthy Pets & Happy Clients - SBPH