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5 Myths About Dental Care for Your Pet

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February is Dental Heath Month.  The following are 5 myths surrounding dental health for your feline and canine companions:

Myth #1 Dental health needs are covered by giving my pet dental chews.

There are high quality chews available for your pet to reduce surface plaque.  Chews can be enjoyable for pets but should not replace daily brushing.  Optimum dental care consists of daily brushing, high quality nutrition and annual dental cleanings.

Myth #2 All dogs have bad breath.

Many of us have had our pets lean in for a smooch and in an instant, we catch a whiff of bad breath.  This odor is indicative of periodontal disease or other underlying conditions.  If your pet has not had a dental exam within the last year, or you have noticed an odor from your pet’s mouth, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Myth #3 Any toothpaste will work for brushing my pet’s teeth.

All toothpastes are not created equal.  In fact, using human toothpaste for your dog or cat can have negative consequences for their health.  Opt instead for a tasty (to them) toothpaste flavor of seafood, poultry, or beef.  These items, as well as other supplies you will need to provide regular dental care for your pet are all available in our online store.

Myth #4 Dental care is for cosmetic reasons only.

Poor dental care significantly affects your pet’s overall health.  Periodontal disease is not only painful for your pet, it affects their heart, kidneys and liver.  Routine dental care is the only way to proactively avoid these complications for your pet.

Myth #5 I can see if my pet has a dental problem.

Your pet is a master at hiding pain.  You may notice small changes in your pet’s eating behaviors.  Common signs are avoiding food on one side of the mouth and/or loss of appetite.

It is only when undergoing a professional dental cleaning that our doctors are able to assess the health of your pet’s teeth below the gum line.  Through the use of digital radiographs your veterinarian is able to view the full anatomy of the teeth.

Rivertown Animal Hospital makes client education a top priority.  We understand that the internet is full of useful information but there are also many myths.  We hope this has cleared up any confusion.  If you have questions, or your pet is due for a dental cleaning or exam, please contact us.  At Rivertown we are committed to providing comprehensive dental service and the well-being of each of our patients.