Dog and Cat breath!

To many people, “dog breath” can be passed off as just one more quirk of having a dog. The reality is, that bad breath (which can actually occur in any pet animal) is really a red flag raised to indicate potential dental health risks to your furry friend’s teeth, gums, and even internal organs. 

To raise awareness of these risks, the AMVA (The American Medical Veterinary Association) and animal hospitals everywhere celebrate National Pet Dental Association Month. Here at Junaluska Animal Hospital, this will mean a month-long of discounted Dental Cleanings!

Just like humans, our fur babies require dental care. If humans went for years at a time without a visit to a dentist, and did not own a toothbrush, the results would be calamitous. The same applies for our four-legged babies. The lack of dental care can cause Periodontal disease, this is inflammation of some or all of a tooth's support. When compared to gingivitis, periodontitis indicates bone loss. If left untreated, periodontitis may cause loose painful teeth as well as internal disease.

A healthy and hygienic pet mouth, on the other hand, will offer more than brilliant white teeth and fresh breath – did you know that maintaining a pet’s dental health can increase their lifespan? That really makes it worth the trip!

An estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will develop some type of dental disease by age three. A typically high tolerance in the average pet for pain, combined with their inability to effectively to communicate pain and discomfort to humans, can easily mean that these diseases worsen over time. Eventually, it can even become life-threatening. But the good news is, it’s all easily preventable. Making sure to take notice of things such as bad breath, discolored teeth, loose teeth, drooling, pawing at the mouth, and difficulty eating is important. A regular brushing of the teeth is as well, and pets can be trained to accept a brushing from a young age.  

Words by Andy Anderson

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