by Dana Humphrey, The Pet Lady
Other than love, affection and (according to your pet) TREATS, dental care is the most important thing you can do for your furry friend. Regular dental care can add years to your pet’s life.
Unfortunately, it isn’t something that most pet parents think about especially with smaller pets. According to a pet dental poll, only 8 percent of dog owners and 3 percent of cat owners brush their pets’ teeth on a regular basis. Dental care is less common for animals that live in cages like birds or gerbils.
February is National Pet Dental Health Month, the perfect time to brush up on why pet dental care is so important and just how easy it can be! We’ve got some great tips and tricks to keep your pet’s teeth in tip-top shape.
The Key Is Stopping Pet Plaque
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria overtakes the mouth – and it all starts with plaque.
Plaque is an unavoidable part of life for pets. This clear, sticky substance forms after every meal and can begin to harden into tartar within 72 hours.
Tartar is a rock-hard substance (brownish or yellow in color) that’s packed with bacteria, which can infect and inflame the gums and give your pet that less-than-fetching breath. Unlike plaque, tartar can only be removed with a professional dental cleaning.
It can be even more difficult to brush with smaller pets. Fortunately,
Because plaque is the starting point for tartar and gum disease, daily removal of it is key. Stop the plaque attack, and you and your pet will have many reasons to smile:
More Cuddles.According to a dental survey by Banfield Pet Hospital, 27 percent of dog owners say they avoid getting close to their pets because of bad breath.
Better Quality of Life.In the advanced stages of pet gum disease, the gums actually separate away from the teeth. This is as painful as it sounds. An animal’s instinct is to hide its pain, which means your pet could be silently suffering without you knowing it.
More Years Together. Taking care of the teeth and gums can add 2–5 years to a pet’s life.
Save Money. Tooth extractions from periodontal disease can be expensive. Annual dental cleanings to remove tartar can add up too, as it involves anesthesia. At-home dental care can help cut back on these costs.
What about Birds?
Bad breath in birds is most often caused by a bacterial infection or Candidiasis(yeast infection). If your bird has bad breath, make an appointment with your veterinarian. A vet will be able to determine if the infection is coming from the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract or the oropharynx.
The best thing you can do is be proactive against bird bad breath. By following these 7 tips, you can help diminish your bird’s exposure to harmful bacteria, reduce the chances of a Candidiasis infection, and keep your bird’s breath smelling fresh. Oxyfresh’s Pet Dental Water Additive now comes in a smaller eight-ounce size which is perfect for smaller pets!
Are there any No Brush Solutions to Fight Bad Pet Breath?
Brushing teeth may not be realistic for small pets. There are many no-brush pet dental products on the market. Just be sure to do your homework first. Avoid products with alcohol, additives, xylitol, mints, tea tree oil and clove oil. These ingredients can sting a pet’s delicate tissues, only mask bad breath, and may cause harm with long-term use. Also, be sure you find one that works for multiple small animals, cats, dogs and birds. That way it is safe for all.
A time-tested favorite of veterinarians and pet owners alike is the Oxyfresh line of dental products. At Oxyfresh, we’re crazy about pets and passionate about their smiles. That’s why our products are USA-made, non-toxic, and free of alcohol, masking agents and other junk. Instead, our premium pet dental products are formulated with our safe, innovative formula that neutralizes bad breath while fighting plaque buildup.
Whether you want a water additive, on-the-go dental spray, or brush-free dental gel, you’ll love how easy Oxyfresh makes pet home dental care. Check out these amazing products today at oxyfresh.com and feel good knowing you’re doing the best for your pet!