Various problems can happen inside your pet’s mouth – and we’re not talking about them running off with your socks. We’re talking teeth.
It’s always good to keep informed about how to maintain your pet’s teeth, how to spot any warning signs, and how dental health can factor into your insurance policy.
Read on to make sure you’re fully aware of how to take care of your pet’s gnashers and how pet insurance can help with any costs involved.
What can go wrong with my pet’s teeth?
Quite a lot, really. Eight out of ten dogs over three years old will have some kind of dental disease. This isn’t surprising, given the amount of action your pet’s teeth get, chewing everything they stumble across, however dirty or sharp.
Vets are used to seeing animals with dental problems all the time.
The most common problem in dogs is periodontal disease – infection and inflammation of the tissues around a tooth – but there’s a host of others: fractures that can expose sensitive parts of the tooth; endocartitis, a serious condition in which bacteria from the teeth can enter the heart; halitosis (stinky breath); an abscess; dental epulis (tumours in the mouth); and gingivitis (sensitive gums generally caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar).
Why is looking after your dog’s teeth so important?
When it comes to any kind of health problem, prevention is always better than cure. If you take the time to brush your dog’s teeth, you’ll be ensuring that various issues are nipped in the bud, not allowed to develop slowly over time, causing your dog pain.
Teeth brushing – even every few days – helps remove plaque and tartar in an animal’s teeth, thereby reducing the risk of infections like gingivitis; it helps keep teeth stronger, making them less likely to break and become vulnerable to infection; and it stops bacteria spreading, minimizing the risk of more serious problems like organ damage.
If you don’t fancy the idea of brushing your pet’s teeth, dental chews are a proven way of reducing the bacteria in a dog’s mouth; they scrape the teeth in a similar way to a toothbrush, getting rid of unwelcome tartar and plaque.
Choose soft dental chews so that your dog is unlikely to cause their teeth any damage. This should all be in addition, of course, to a well-rounded diet full of natural foods that don’t cause unnecessary damage to the teeth or stomach.
Sounds like dog dental hygiene is pretty important then?
Exactly. Dogs are great at covering up their pain, so it’s up to you to help them maintain healthy teeth. They don’t have hands, so they need your help.
Any time and money (including on a wellness plan) you spend brushing and looking after their teeth will be money saved at the vet’s, who will be much less likely to need to see your pet for treatment. But if your pet does need dental work for a dental accident or illness, it’s good to know that Paw Protect has you covered (with an annual $1,000 limit, excluding pre-existing conditions and dental cleanings).