PHOENIX, Jan. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dental disease affects more than 80% of adult cats and dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. To keep your pet healthy and smiling, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert, Jennifer Freeman, DVM, shares advice on how to take a proactive approach to your pet’s dental health.
Periodontal disease occurs when there is a buildup of plaque and tartar that causes either periodontal pockets or gum recession around the tooth. It is the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs. “It’s very important to treat periodontal disease as soon as possible because if left untreated, the infection can spread deeper into the tooth socket and could destroy the bone,” said Freeman. “This could then lead to tooth loss, costly treatments, and could impact your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys.” Plaque and tartar may also cause bad breath, gum inflammation and bleeding, and pain that can negatively impact your pet’s quality of life.
If you suspect your pet has dental disease, check for warning signs like bad breath and inflamed gums, as those are usually the first symptoms. “Bad breath is usually a good indication of some sort of periodontal issue,” Freeman said. “If you notice red gums, bleeding in the mouth or bad breath in conjunction with yellow deposits on your pet’s teeth that aren’t easily scraped away, your pet needs dental care.”
To prevent dental disease in the first place, Freeman suggests implementing a dental care routine for your pet. Once a month, examine your pet’s mouth and carefully scan the teeth and gums for any signs of dental disease. Also, implement regular dental cleanings with your veterinarian and an at-home dental care routine.
“Brushing your pet’s teeth removes the soft plaque film that forms into tartar over time,” Freeman said. “Use a toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for dogs or cats and aim to brush your pet’s teeth at least once a week or more often if possible.” You can help your pup by starting dental maintenance early, but to make it a pleasant experience, wait until your puppy has their adult teeth (at or around six months old) before using a toothbrush. You can also bring your pet to a PetSmart Grooming Salon for a teeth brushing and breath freshener service, which includes whitening, tartar control gel and a minty breath freshener.
Feeding your pet a teeth cleaning kibble is another great way to fight dental disease. Dental formulas for dogs and cats have ingredients that may help prevent plaque and tartar buildup, and the kibble pieces are shaped to help scrub plaque from teeth. If you’d like to treat your dog to a dental treat, try Dentley’s® Highly Digestible 5″ Dental Rawhide Rolls Dog Treat. To help freshen your cat’s breath try the Whisker City® Mint Infused Fish Dental Cat Toy.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. PetSmart employs approximately 56,000 associates and operates more than 1,660 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption. PetSmart, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada work with more than 3,500 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 9 million adoptions, more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. In May 2017, PetSmart acquired Chewy.com, a leading online retailer of pet food and products in the U.S., which operates as an independent subsidiary.
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