The Importance of National Pet Dental Month

by Dr. Chris

February 1, 2010 The month of February each year is designated National Pet Dental Month. This is done to help promote, educate, and teach people that pets need proper dental care too. Clean teeth and gums are very important for overall pet health.

Common Dog Dental Care Problems

1. Periodontitis

The most common dental problem for dogs is periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease. The disease is caused by various factors like plaque build up, food debris, and a mixture of bacteria.

Plaque naturally builds up on teeth, and when it accumulates and hardens, it becomes tartar, which appear as hard white calluses on teeth that are hard to remove.

2. Gingivitis

Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, happens when gum tissue suffers from inflammation. Without treatment, it can lead to periodontitis, teeth loosening, bone loss, and ultimately, loss of teeth.

3. Tooth fractures

Tooth fractures occur when dogs chew hard substances, such as hard rocks and even rawhides. The fractures can result in an infection inside the broken tooth, which is known as endodontic disease.

How to prevent dental problems

Dog and cat dental prices can be expensive, you can help your pet fight off these dental care problems by removing the plaque before it actually develops as tartar. How to do it?

The most effective way is by brushing your dog's teeth in a mechanical fashion. The brushing reduces much of the bacteria present in the mouth, not to mention making your dog's breath smell sweeter. Make it a habit of brushing your dogs' teeth on a daily basis if possible.


There are toothpaste products made especially for dog dental care. Brush your pet's teeth using dog toothpaste. Human toothpaste is specifically designed for humans who know to to spit the paste out when done. Dogs will swallow the toothpaste, so pick a dog toothpaste that is safe enough for dogs to swallow. Click here for dog toothpaste.


It will take your dog some time to get used to having a brush in its mouth. Let your dog get acquainted with it slowly. You should let your dog taste the brush, and maybe even chew on it a little to get used to it.

Your dog will start to realize that having a toothbrush in its mouth is not that bad. Make it a habit a few times a day, until he feels comfortable letting you brush with it.

Finger brush

You could also use a finger brush instead of a toothbrush. A finger brush is a good alternative, although nothing could replace the good old toothbrush. The finger brush just fits onto one's fingertip and can let you brush the dog's teeth without the dog knowing it. Well, at least almost.

The disadvantage of using a finger brush to clean your dog's teeth is that its bristles are too large to go under the gumline's margin as effectively as a regular toothbrush. Click here for a dog finger brush.

Professional Cleaning

If you don't want to do the cleaning by yourself, you could take your dog to a veterinarian and have his teeth professionally cleaned. A good veterinarian will take additional measures to ensure your dog's teeth are properly cleaned by anesthetizing your dog, scraping the buildup of plaque from all over the gumline areas, and polishing the teeth for a sparkling finish.

Signs of cat and dog teeth problems:

1. Weight loss or loss of appetite
2. Pawing or scratching at their mouth
3. Difficulty eating
4. Tartar buildup on their back teeth
5. Bad breath
6. Bleeding and swollen gums

If you notice any of these signs in your pet you should take them so see your vet. Bad teeth affect more than your pet?s mouth. An infection in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body and affect many different organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Talk to your Veterinarian at your next annual visit about cat and dog dental care. A little prevention with a pet dental can go a long way.

To read more blog posts go here: Veterinary Blog

To sign up for my newsletter go here: Veterinary Newsletter

Comments for The Importance of National Pet Dental Month

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

pet dental care NEW
by: kate

Pets can suffer from various dental problems, many of which are common to people, but unlike us, they need somone to take care of them. Taking care of your pet's oral health is as important as yours. Therefore, at the dental labs in Houston TX you will find the best dentists, that will fix your dental problems with ease.

The Importance of National Pet Dental Month NEW
by: Scott K

It is going to be a trend now. People like to have one or two pets and most of people have dogs. It is good to aware people about their health issues. Dental health is something mostly people dont take care of. I find some best services that type my essay and make it look like professional.

reply NEW
by: Anonymous

This post on the national pet dental month was much inspiring. We all should give the necessary attention to the dental health of our pets and celebrating a pet dental month will help you ensure this. Keep up the good work. Windows 10

Raw Meaty Bones Clean Teeth in Pets and Ferrets
by: Anonymous

While I think it's wonderful that you are discussing periodontal health in our pets, as it is the underlying cause of much disease (that are pets often suffer silently with), I'm disappointed that diet (most often the cause, although genetics also plays a role) was not mentioned even once.

Processed, hard kibble can wear away at the tooth enamel over time leading to problems. In addition, the starches and grains create a breeding ground in your pets mouth ripe for bacteria and the formation of plaque. Not to mention the stress dry, hard kibble places on the kidneys (especially in cats and ferrets who get the majority of their water from their food source). Wet processed food alleviates the kidney stress but does nothing to address dental health.

Realistically, most pets do not appreciate nor wish to cooperate with their owner's attempts to "brush" their teeth. Why should they? A proper whole prey or raw meaty bone diet (as outlined by Dr Tom Lonsdale in "Raw Meaty Bones") is the perfect method to clean your pet's teeth. The chewing, ripping and crunching clean teeth, massage gums, and leave your pets breath smelling fresher...

My 5 ferrets - age ranges 2-8 - have healthy teeth and gums as a result of their diet. No additional brushing or paste is necessary and I've been fortunate that none have genetic issues. Bottom line, my vet doesn't need to clean any of my ferrets teeth because they are cleaned each time they eat.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to 2010 Veterinary Blog Posts.

Video: Treating or Euthanizing Your Pet - What is the Best Choice?
December 15, 2011 Deciding whether to treat or euthanize is your pet is an extremely tough decision. Adding to that difficulty is that pets are good at masking their symptoms....

Top 10 Things I Wish I'd Learned in Veterinary School
December 9, 2011 This video about the top 10 things I wish I'd learned in veterinary school is aimed at veterinary students, but I think all pet owners will find this amusing...

FLAVORx Introduces Digital Flavorist Software
December 2, 2011 Does your pet refuse to take medication orally due to the bad taste? If you are struggling to give your dog or cat oral medications...

Should I Get Another Pet?
November 25, 2011 Should I get another pet? This question is asked all the time by pet owners who think they might want to get another pet. But before you consider adopting...

Video: The Mean Kitty Song
November 18, 2011 What is the most watched pet video on YouTube of all time? Well one of them is this one, the Mean Kitty Song. It now has around 60 Million views!!!

11 Hot Pet Trends Happening Now
November 11, 2011 Each year the American Pet Products Association (APPA) does a massive survey of pet owners to see not only what they are spending on their pets, but also...

Pet Costs Rise over $2 Billion
November 4, 2011 According to the American Pet Products Association, total U.S. pet expenditures will reach over $50.8 billion this year. That's a $2 billion increase from...

Heartworm Resistance and Treatment Scarcity
October 28, 2011 Heartworm preventatives (like Heartgard, Interceptor, Sentinel) are becoming less effective due to increased resistance from the parasite that causes heartworm...

True Cost of Owning a Pet
October 21, 2011 Owning a pet can be a lot of fun, but it also takes money to properly care for them. With today's economy more and more people are struggling to pay their...

Black Dog Syndrome-Cats Too!
October 14, 2011 Black Dog Syndrome is a condition where dogs and cats that have black coats are less likely to be adopted. This has forced many animal shelters to look...

Bizarre: Commercial Specifically Aimed for Dogs Only
October 7, 2011 A dog food commercial that features high frequency signals that only dogs can hear is being played now in Austria, and possibly soon here in America...

10 Tips for Reading Pet Food Labels
September 30, 2011 Reading pet food labels can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Buy understanding a few things, you can easily learn to find the most important parts...

5 Life Threatening Behavior Myths of Dogs and Cats
September 23, 2011 The bad news is that behavior problems in dogs and cats are more common than you think. But the good news is that you are not alone...

7 Common Myths about Pet Anesthesia Risks
September 16, 2011 When it comes to pet anesthesia risks, there are several misconceptions that need to be cleared up. Below are what I feel are the 7 main myths that are commonly seen/heard...

Horse 500 Pounds Underweight - Owner Charged
September 9, 2011 In South Carolina a woman was arrested after the Horry County Police Department found a horse that was 500 pounds underweight and unable...

2 Amazing New Dog DNA Tests Available Now!
September 2, 2011 This week brought great news for pet owners. Mars Veterinary launched 2 new Dog DNA tests for Purebred and Designer Dogs called Wisdom...

Medical Marijuana for Dogs
August 28, 2011 Medical Marijuana for dogs is coming soon. Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems (MMDS) located in Seattle recently got patent rights for...

Crazy: Dog is 'Totaled' After Car Accident
August 21, 2011 This is something I find crazy. According to reports, Farmer's Insurance agency told a Colorado woman her dog was 'totaled' after an...

[?] Subscribe To
This Site

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Newsgator
Subscribe with Bloglines

Thermo Snuggly

All Materials Copyrighted