Oral health care is important during any stage of a pet’s life but is especially important for our senior pets. Plaque and tartar will accumulate on your pet’s teeth over the course of their lives and can cause inflammation, pain, and lead to damage of the tooth.
This can make it very painful or impossible for the pet to eat, and in turn cause malnutrition, weight loss, and negatively affect their organs if not caught and fixed soon enough.
Dental cleanings can be performed on the pet to remove any tartar build-up or damaged teeth that may be causing pain. However, prevention is key. If we can maintain adequate oral health in our young pets for the duration of their lives, it will greatly help reduce the number of dental issues they have in their old age.
These preventative measures can include, brushing the pet’s teeth, or using oral rinses. Since this is not possible with some pets, having them eat kibble dog food or treats instead of soft food can help greatly, especially if the kibble is specifically for maintaining oral health care, since these kibbles are made to manually scrape away the plaque and tartar and have enzymes to slow the progression of it building back up. There are also some specific toys that can be used to help keep the teeth clean as they chew and play.
Call and speak to your veterinary professionals regarding what methods would be best for your pet!
Written by Erica Stafford, RVT