In honor of National Pet Dental Health Month, your friends at Brite Bite wanted to share the importance of maintaining your dog’s oral health. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey 2017-2018, less than 20% of pet parents take their dogs to the vet for dental care products and services while 25% of pet parents do not have anyone care for their dog’s dental health. Think of it like this: Humans go to the dentist once or twice every year, but to truly maintain our oral health, we have to participate in daily brushing or else we risk serious health complications. The same is true for dogs. The simple action of daily brushing and yearly vet appointments could save their life. Here are five simple reasons you should care about your dog’s oral health:
“Dog Breath”We’ve all experienced it-- When you come home from a long day of work anxious to see your best friend and as your pup comes in for the hug, you get a whiff of that stinky dog breath. Your pup wants to kiss you, but do you let him? Keeping your dogs breath fresh means that they can show you how much they missed you while you were gone.
Although this may seem like one of the less serious consequences of bad oral hygiene, bad breath can be a sign of something much worse. If you're doing regular brushing and cleaning at home and bad breath is still prevalent, it could be a sign of a deeper and worsening condition. According to the American Kennel Club, bad breath can be a symptom of gum disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and even diabetes. Taking your dog to their veterinarian and discussing the issue could potentially save your dog’s life.
Gum Disease: a Silent Killer
Gum disease is the sneaky illness you may not even be able to see. According to the AVMA, “Periodontal disease or gum disease is the most common dental condition in dogs”. They even say that by the time your dog is three years old, he or she will probably have some evidence of periodontal disease which can worsen as your pet ages. Because gum disease happens under the gum line where you can’t see it, you may not know that your dog has been affected until it’s too late. This nasty disease occurs when plaque turns to tartar and begins wreaking havoc on the gum line, damaging the gums enough to let bacteria and toxins into your dog’s system. It can even substantially decrease lifespan.According to the American Kennel Club, symptoms of gum disease may include:
- Bad breath
- Yellow-brown crust around gums
- Pain when eating
- Tooth Loss
- Bleeding gums
Fear not, gum disease is preventable with frequent brushing and taking care of your best friend’s oral health.
Prevent Unnecessary Tooth LossTooth loss is a common problem in older dogs or can be a matter of genetics, but it can also be a symptom of gum disease. Remember when you were young and you started losing your teeth? What a miserable time trying to eat many of your favorite foods. When dogs lose their teeth eating becomes more difficult for them too. Some dogs may not even be able to eat at all due to the pain and inability to bite down, causing them to lose extreme and unhealthy amounts of weight in a short period of time.
In order for your pup to stay strong and healthy, they need to be able to eat their regular foods that contain the vitamins and proteins a pup needs in his or her daily life.
Like all of the other problems associated with poor oral hygiene, tooth loss can also be prevented with at-home brushings.
Who doesn’t like extra cash in their wallet? Maintaining your dog’s oral health will save you money in the long run. Maintaining oral health is the secret to maintaining overall health and the key to your savings.
Poor Oral Hygiene + Time = Gum Disease (or Worse) = Vet Bills
If you don’t take care of your dog’s oral health, over time their periodontal disease can worsen which means more visits to the vet and possible surgeries.
Save money by preventing issues before they arise.
With regular cleanings at home, you'll see less plaque and tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth. When you brush your bestie’s teeth daily, there is less of a chance gum disease will develop. Because gum disease can be the root of many other health conditions, you’ll be saving money with each brush.
Brushing + Daily = $$$
Caring is Easy and Saves Lives
The best part about caring is that it’s easy and may even save your dog’s life. It’s no secret that making sure your dog has good oral hygiene can help prevent illness. In fact, smelling your dog's breath may be able to save their life. If you notice a change in your dog’s breath that goes from bad to worse, this can be a symptom of another illness. Even if your pup is getting regular brushings, you need to pay attention to what’s really going on in their mouth. By simply paying more attention to your dog’s mouth, and doing regular checks at home, you can be the first guard in the fight against disease. How simple is that?
Don’t forget that your dog’s teeth should be checked once a year by a veterinarian for possible problems.