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February is Pet Dental Month!

The relationship between good dental hygienic and longevity is a straight forward one. Bacteria that builds up in the mouth doesn’t stay there but is ingested when a pet eats and works its way through the dog’s system. In severe cases of periodontal disease, the bacteria can also enter the blood stream. Consequently, bacteria that started out in the mouth can result in heart disease, kidney and liver failure and has also been directly linked to diabetes.

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80%of dogs show symptoms of oral disease by the age of three. Not only is periodontal disease very painful but as with people, it’s completely preventable.

The first sign of trouble is usually stinky breath. Other signs include decreased appetite,approaching the food and then backing away if their teeth hurt, dropping food and obvious discomfort when chewing, pawing the mouth and not letting you touch their jawline.

Don’t forget to Brush!
In order to successfully brush a pet’s teeth, they must be comfortable allowing you to put your fingers in their mouth. Go slow and let them build up acceptance slowly. Obviously, you are starting with a puppy, it will be much easier. There is a large of variety of specially designed dog tooth brushes and flavored tooth pastes.

Building dental care into your pet’s routine is a great way of enhancing that human-animal bond too.

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