February Recognized As National Pet Dental Health Month - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

February Recognized As National Pet Dental Health Month

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It doesn't take long for a pet owner to become attached to their furry friend.

From the way they bark to how fast they wag their tails, every little thing they do is adorable.

So wouldn't you want to protect them from any harm that could potentially come their way?

"If we can prevent pain and we can prevent infection and its very common, we should spend a lot of time working on it," said Dr. Scott Moore, Fairmont Veterinary Hospital.

From a young age, we are taught how important it is to take care of our teeth to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Well, the same goes for our pets.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month and it aims to draw attention to a serious health issue for our pets.

"Most people get their teeth cleaned twice a year and for pets that would be the equivalent of getting their teeth cleaned about 2-3 months. Now, that's on the top of the fact that we brush our own teeth twice a day. Pets don't brush their teeth," Dr. Moore said.

Veterinarians said people believe dogs are supposed to have bad breath. In fact, its just the opposite.

Bad dental hygiene could damage not only your pet's teeth and gums but its internal organs as well.

"It can cause heart failure by heart infections, liver abscesses, and you can see a lot of infections in the head and nose area. Actually you can get brain involvement as well," Dr. Moore said.

Veterinarians said bad dental hygiene forms infections and produces bacteria.

"Lots of people let their dogs and cats kiss them. When they kiss you with a dirty mouth, they are kissing you with what they ate a couple of days ago and the bacteria that are feeding off of it. That's a perspective people need to keep in their mind," Dr. Moore said.

Veterinarians said smaller breeds are at the most risk and if the teeth get too bad, you could be paying a lot of money in the long run.

Once the teeth get too bad, your pet may have to go under anesthesia to have its teeth cleaned.

"$100 to do a dental cleaning, in that ballpark. Versus if you go into major extractions and tooth loss, you can go to three, four, five hundred dollars just in getting the problems resolved," Dr. Moore said.

Veterinarians said you can prevent this from happening to your pet with yearly checkups and brushing its teeth every single day. But it shouldn't be done with a human toothpaste. Brands like Crest or Colgate are very toxic to dogs.

Pet stores, like Petco, offer various products like mouthwash, dog dental care kits, and natural toothpaste.

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