Veterinarian: Clean teeth in pets add years to life

Posted on October 12, 2009 under Pet Health & Safety

Dental care for pets can lengthen life spansIn recognition of National Pet Wellness Month, pet health specialists are reminding dog and cat owners of the symptoms of common pet diseases which can easily be overlooked.

Specifically, veterinary officials in Florida and the Greenies Company have pointed out that regular checkups and dental exams are essential in maintaining a dog or cat’s health. Dr Jan Bellows a veterinary and pet dental specialist in Weston, Florida, notes that periodontal disease is the most common health problem for pets with almost 75 percent of dogs and cats experiencing the infection by age 3.

Periodontal disease develops when plaque on the pet’s gum line introduces bacteria into the bloodstream, which can cause organ damage in advanced states.

"Cleaning your pet’s teeth can actually prolong its life," said Bellows. "Daily care is not optional if you want your pet to live a long, healthy life."

In additional to daily brushing, veterinarians suggest tooth wipes, dental treats and foods that clean teeth for dogs and cats.

Doctors Foster & Smith says dog owners should watch for bad breath, red or swollen gums, discolored teeth, or strange bumps as indications to visit a veterinarian.