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a German Shepherd dog holding a yellow toothbrush in it's mouth

Today, 56% of Canadians have at least 1 pet in their household. It can quickly feel like these 4-legged companions are your family members, with their love and loyalty. Despite owners treating their pets like family, a shocking number don't fully grasp the importance of pet dental hygiene. If you feel guilty about neglecting dental hygiene in your pets, don't fret. Read on to find out more about pet dental hygiene and how you can care for your pet's teeth.

The Importance of Dental Care for Pets

Like humans, a lack of dental care can cause several issues for pets, starting with bad breath. Without good oral hygiene, your pet's mouth becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which leads to a foul odour. Periodontal Disease A study found that up to 80% of dogs are affected by some degree of periodontal disease by the time they're 2 years old. Past lousy breath, your pet's gum might swell, look redder, become swollen, and bleed more easily (gingivitis). Without intervention, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, which is an irreversible and more serious type of gum inflammation. Bone loss occurs at this stage. Abscesses Abscesses are harmful infections that happen around tooth roots. This can happen if your pet's teeth are either decayed or fractured and have bad gum disease. Without care, this can become a serious and even life-threatening infection. Bacteremia Any type of infection/inflammation can lead to bacteremia, bacteria in the blood. This means the infection can spread rapidly, as the bacteria's carried through the bloodstream and distributed to various organs. If your pet doesn't have good dental hygiene, this can lead to liver issues, heart disease, and gastrointestinal problems. Oral Cancer Oral cancer can happen to both cats and dogs. Because they're hard to detect and are often fatal, it's essential for you to stay on top of your pet's oral health.

How to Care for Your Pet's Teeth

Thankfully, there are ways you can be proactive with your pet's oral health. Start by giving them suitable types of food and treats. It would help if you also clean your pet's teeth every day. Use specially-made pet toothbrushes and toothpaste. Most importantly, you should book regular visits to the vet for checkups and teeth cleanings. At a minimum, have a vet like Amherst Veterinary Hospital examine your pet's teeth and gums every 6 months. That way, they can catch any problems early on and address them before they get too serious.

Keep Up With Pet Dental Hygiene

Keeping up with pet dental hygiene is vital if you want your furry friend to be happy and healthy. Now that you know its importance, it's time to find the best vet to look after your pet. You'll have peace of mind knowing their teeth and gums are in the best shape possible! If you're ready to get the best dental care for pets, book an appointment with Amherst Veterinary Hospital now.

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