Industry leader offers advice in recognition of National Pet Dental Health Month
Boise, Idaho (February 14, 2012) – In recognition of National Pet Dental Health Month in February, Pets Best Insurance, a leading pet insurance provider based in Boise, Idaho, today released a list of useful pet dental health care tips for dog and cat owners across the nation.
“We want to make sure pet owners have access to the information they need to keep their pets healthy and happy through regular dental care,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets Best Insurance. “Periodontal disease is a serious concern for dogs and cats, sometimes resulting in severe health conditions like heart disease and infections, but there are a number of steps pet owners can take to protect their four-legged family members.”
Pets Best Insurance encourages pet owners to consider the following dental health tips:
Schedule a dental exam and professional cleaning
Scheduling an annual visit to the veterinarian for a dental examination often plays a key role in identifying pet dental health issues. Pet parents are encouraged to consult with their veterinarians to determine how often their pets should receive professional teeth cleanings. Veterinarians can also help pet owners develop at-home dental care strategies designed to meet the unique needs of their pets.
It’s also important for people to examine their pets’ teeth on a monthly basis to look for plaque and tartar accumulation in the form of yellow or brown material where the tooth meets the gum line.
If left untouched, plaque buildup will result in tartar, which cannot be brushed off and will eventually lead to more advanced infections. Tartar can loosen and eventually destroy teeth, and infections under the gum line may also spread to the vital organs, resulting in a host of serious health issues.
Don’t forget to brush!
While brushing Fido’s teeth may be easier said than done, it can go a long way toward preventing future health concerns and veterinary bills. Removing plaque, the precursor to tartar, is essential to dental health, and brushing once or twice a day is the most effective method of eliminating this hazardous film of bacteria.
Although it may require some creativity and a great deal of coaxing, taking the time to brush with a soft-bristled or finger toothbrush should serve as a top priority for pet owners. People should only brush their pets’ teeth with toothpaste designed for animals, as human toothpaste can be toxic to dogs and cats.
Offer dental treats and chews
Dental treats and chews are often used to prevent dental disease among pets. Many of these products include a disinfectant to prevent plaque, although most are not nearly as effective as brushing or rinsing. Pet owners should also keep in mind that traditional bones, hooves and ears are not effective in preventing dental disease.
Use rinses or sprays
If used correctly, dental rinses and sprays can be nearly as effective as brushing. However, these products only work on clean teeth, as they are designed to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
Consider sealant gel
Applying a dental sealant gel can also help to prevent plaque from forming in the first place. These gel products should be applied weekly with a special wand, and they can be purchased at most veterinary clinics. Like rinses and sprays, dental sealants do not work on dirty teeth, so pet owners should consider applying the gel following a professional dental cleaning.
Put your pet on a special diet
Specially designed prescription dental food can be used in coordination with regular brushing to prevent periodontal disease. These pet food products typically contain large pieces of kibble to promote chewing and a disinfectant to prevent plaque buildup.
Watch out for bad breath
The most common sign of periodontal disease is bad breath, which often comes as a result of an infection. When a dog or cat begins to have bad breath, pet owners should consult a veterinarian to develop a treatment plan.
Insure your pet’s health
Pet insurance is often the best way to cover the costs associated with dental care. Pets Best Insurance offers a variety of plans; including coverage for dental cleanings in their BestWellness plan, and traditional dental accident and illness coverage in their BestBenefit plans. For more information about the plans offered through Pets Best Insurance, please visit www.petsbest.com.
About Pets Best Insurance
Dr. Jack L. Stephens, President of Pets Best Insurance, founded pet insurance in the U.S. in 1981 with a mission to end euthanasia when pet owners couldn’t afford veterinary treatment. Dr. Stephens went on to present the first pet insurance policy ever to famous television dog, Lassie. Pets Best Insurance is the only veterinarian founded and operated pet insurance company in the United States. Dr. Stephens is always available to answer questions regarding veterinarian medicine, pet health and pet insurance. Visit www.petsbest.com for more information.
Pet insurance plans offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware Insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an insurance organization composed of Independence Holding Company, a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and its operating subsidiaries. The IHC Group has been providing life, health and stop loss insurance solutions for nearly 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit: www.ihcgroup.com. In states in which Independence American Insurance Company’s new policy form has not yet received regulatory approval, Aetna Insurance Company of Connecticut will underwrite policies. Each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its own products. To determine the underwriter in your state, please call Pets Best at 1-866-929-3807.
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Contact: Scott Kerbs
MassMedia (702) 433-4331 or (702) 324-2961