Pet Dental Care

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Many pet owners exert a lot of effort just to keep their pets healthy and happy – from providing them with quality food to sending them to the vet for regular check-ups and walking them every day just so they would stay fit. You think you did everything for your pets. But what about their dental health?

When it comes to caring for your pet cats and dogs, you have to leave no stone unturned. Ensure that their overall health has been accounted for. In this regard, you should not leave dental health out of the picture. Bad teeth can have severe effects on your pet’s health and may even lead to other illnesses. If you are completely in the dark about how to take care of your cat or dog’s teeth, there are all kinds of pet dental services you can avail of. These services may include pet dental cleaning, dental extraction and dental scaling.

veterinarian checks teeth to a dog

DOG DENTAL CARE

Owners usually forget just how important dog dental care is in keeping their dog generally healthy. Dental care for dogs is important because a simple toothache – and even a case of sore gums – may be a sign of pre-existing pain or stress. Your dog may be suffering from an illness you are not aware of and which calls for immediate check-up. Moreover, dogs suffering from bad teeth are susceptible to bacterial infection. When it is left untreated, it will start to penetrate your pet’s bloodstream and may affect his internal organs like kidneys, liver or heart.

A lot of dogs aged 4 and above suffer from periodontal disease, an oral disease that is not only painful to bear but can bring about tooth decay and bacterial infection. It is a cause for worry, but on a brighter note, however, this oral condition can be prevented.

Take note of your dog’s oral condition and see which of the following dog dental care services fits their needs:

Dog Dental Extraction

If a tooth is on the verge of falling off, send your pet for a dog dental extraction to prevent bacteria from infiltrating the gums. If your dog’s dental health is generally deemed okay, regular dental check-ups are still necessary to make sure all likely dental problems are addressed before they escalate to unmanageable proportions.

Dog Dental Cleaning

Like humans, a dog’s teeth need regular cleaning. This helps get rid of particles that not even a pet toothbrush can successfully remove. Particles stuck in between teeth can turn into tartar, which may lead to tooth decay. Dog teeth cleaning cost is not fixed. The rates differ from one clinic to another. If you want to set a definite budget for this service, your best recourse would be to research more about the nearest and most affordable pet dental clinics in your area.

Dental Scaling

Dental scaling is a more advanced form of dental cleaning service. The crown of your pet’s teeth will be scraped and polished thoroughly to remove persistent plaque and tartar. The scaling process also prevents particle build-up in between teeth. After your dog’s teeth are polished, they will look and feel so smooth that bacteria will have a hard time sticking to the surface. Dog dental scaling cost differs from one vet dentist to another, so a review of your target budget and prior research or consultation are highly recommended.

Dog Dental Procedure

Pet owners must take note that the process of extracting, cleaning or scaling your dog’s teeth will first begin with an oral exam. The veterinary dentist will assess your dog’s dental condition and what needs to be done to the teeth should there be a broken tooth, swollen gums or other pre-existing dental problems that you may not notice. This is your chance to ask the vet dentist for sound advice so that when it comes down to it, you can just take care of your pet’s dental health at home and prevent more dental health problems in the future.

The veterinary dentist may draw blood for further analysis and for the purpose of identifying potential oral health issues. The vet needs to be aware of these problems so that he can evaluate whether or not your pet should be subjected to anaesthesia. Many pet owners worry about this part of the process, but during dental cleaning, your pet has to be anaesthetized. Rest assured that vets follow the right protocols before applying anaesthesia and the formula used has been tested and proven safe for pets.

Dog Dental Cost

One primary consideration for every pet owner is how much dental care for dogs would cost. Dog dentist prices, on average, range from $300 to $400. The costs may increase, depending on the type of service you intend to avail of. If dental extraction is necessary, some dentists charge additional $100. Know that these prices are not set in stone. Location, dentist experience and other factors may also come into play.

veterinarian checks teeth to a small kitten

CAT DENTAL CARE

Dental care for cats is another story. Much like dogs, they also contract periodontal disease. In fact, such a disease is prevalent among cats aged three and above. Adult cats have 30 teeth, but they have four teeth less when they were still kittens. Adult dogs have 12 more teeth than adult cats, but due to their size, treating cat teeth may involve some degree of complexity.

If your cat is aged 3 years or more, have him checked for signs of periodontal disease. The periodontium sits below the gum line and is not visible to the naked eye. It takes a professional vet dentist to identify and evaluate the existence of a periodontal problem. In certain instances, the disease manifests itself. Bacteria will populate in your cat’s mouth, which leads to plaque and tartar accumulation when left untreated.

Teeth that are misaligned, genetic factors, lack of nutrition and some other disease may also lead to periodontal disease among cats. The disease normally undergoes four stages:

First Stage

The first stage is characterized by generally mild plaque and tartar build-up and can be prevented through home dental care or professional pet dental intervention. One way to prevent your cat’s teeth from succumbing to an irreversible periodontal disease is to send him to the vet dentist for dental cleaning before the cat turns three. Cat teeth cleaning cost ranges from $55 to $830. Different cat dentists charge different prices and factors like location and the dentist’s experience will also determine how much a veterinary dentist will charge you for cat teeth cleaning services. Your cat must also undergo dental evaluation before teeth cleaning, scaling or extracting takes place.

Second, Third and Fourth Stages

The second, third and fourth stages of the disease may have varying degrees of teeth damage. However, only the first stage can be treated and the rest, particularly the third and fourth stages, are difficult to treat (often requires complex surgeries) and already considered reversible. That is why prevention is better than cure. Have your cat’s teeth checked by the vet before any periodontal disease affects his overall health. Periodontal disease can easily progress to the fourth stage without you noticing it.

There are home remedies cat owners can take advantage of. One of the simplest remedy is to brush your cat’s teeth regularly – this is a basic pet dental care rule. In addition to regular brushing, you may want to get vet-prescribed treats, toys and diet products for your cats. There are also oral rinses, water additives and other dental products specially designed for cats. Make sure they are made from organic ingredients or have been expressly prescribed by your cat’s dentist.

Advice to Pet Owners

Similar to your usual pet grooming routine or regular outside stroll, pet dental care is something your dog or cat is entitled to. As a pet owner, be patient with the results. The effect may not manifest then and there since not all pets feel comfortable when strangers suddenly start inspecting their teeth. There are also owners who are not cool with the thought of caring for their pet’s dental health.

The best time to expose your pets to dental care is when they are still growing. Puppies and kittens regularly subjected to dental cleaning or scaling from an early age will get used to dental care when they reach full adulthood. However, if you have only just realized that you missed this important factor in your dog’s health, keep calm. Continue to shower your pet with affection and remember that rewards or treats can help you convince your pet.

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Unlike humans who need to brush their teeth daily, but this rule does not strictly apply to dogs and cats. Between three and four times in a week would suffice. Brushing your pet’s teeth can be challenging and some owners may even fail to brush the entire teeth due to endless squirming or biting. Just continue where you left off the next time you brush your cat or dog’s teeth.

Finally, be careful with the products you use. Some breeds are sensitive to certain formulas. Pet toothpaste made from natural ingredients are better to use than dental products that contain lots of chemicals. Your pet may suffer from allergic reactions. Check with your vet to be sure.

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