Keeping pets healthy all year round is important, and dental health is just as critical for our pets as it is for us. August is Pet Dental Health Month – a prime time to raise awareness about pet dental issues, prevention and treatment.
Dr Rachel Chay, Chief Veterinarian from Greencross Vets, says poor dental hygiene is a serious issue for pets in Australia.
“Common signs of dental disease include bad breath, discolouration or build-up of yellow tartar on teeth, redness or inflamed gums, broken or loose teeth, under-eye swelling, increased salivation, pawing at the mouth and a reluctance to eat,” Dr Chay says.
Just like us, our pets should be getting a dental health check-up at least two times a year. Regular check-ups will allow your vet to detect any cracks, chips, holes, loose teeth, gum ulcers, growths or infections. Thorough dental health examinations also help ensure bacteria and poisons from dental infections do not spread to the heart, liver and kidneys through the blood stream.
Dr Chay suggests feeding your pet the right food, using a pet toothbrush, giving your pet dental chews and toys, and using a water additive to help prevent dental issues.
Other factors that contribute to a healthy pet all year round are diet and exercise. Petbarn area manager Emily Dwyer says finding your pet the correct food for their breed, size and age is important to ensure they are receiving all their nutritional requirements and the right balance of calories, fats and protein.
“Being aware of the way a pet matures and the different life stages they experience is important to ensure you are feeding them for best health,” she says.
“Another way to keep your cat healthy all year round is to take them for a walk. Although not a new concept, taking your pet cat for a walk is becoming increasingly popular with owners recognising their cats’ growing weight issues.
“You can also use interactive and chase toys for cats that can be used indoors and help them stay active.”
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