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4 tips for taking care of your pet's dental health from a vet

February is pet oral health month
Veterinarian Dr. RutAnn Lobos says pet owners often overlook oral health
Posted at 9:00 AM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 12:00:37-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Our pets are used to routine. Dinner time, nap time, play time, but what about teeth time? One vet says owners often overlook their pet's dental health.

"It's a really, really common problem in our pets," said Dr. RuthAnn Lobos, Lead Veterinarian at Merrick Pet Care, a nationwide pet food and care company.

February is Pet Oral Health Month. A good time to learn that 70-80% of cats and dogs over the age of three have some form of dental disease, according to Dr. Lobos. This can be dangerous for your four-legged friend, but could also be life threatening.

Dr. Lobos recommends you brush your pet's teeth daily
Dr. Lobos recommends you brush your pet's teeth daily

"If there’s an infection in the tooth and it spreads, that bacteria can get into their bloodstream and make them sick in other parts of their body," said Dr. Lobos.

Some breeds are more likely than others to run into problems:

  • Dogs with smushed faces
    • French Bulldogs
    • Boston Terriers
    • Boxers
    • Persian Cats
  • Smaller dogs
    • Yorkie's
    • Chihuahuas
    • Dachshunds

Dr. Lobos gave 4 tips on how to prevent dental disease:

  1. Brush your pet's teeth with pet safe toothpaste daily, just like we do
  2. Give your pet dental treats
  3. Check your pet's mouth early and often, look out for
    1. Bad breath
    2. Only chewing on one side
    3. Excessive sneezing
    4. Drooling
  4. Ask your vet if everything's okay during routine visits

“Those are common thing to look for, certainly if the dog or cat stops eating, that is a big red flag that they need to go to the veterinarian," said Dr. Lobos

This story originally reported by Taylor Epps on WKBW.com.