Pet Dental Health Month: A Focus On Dog Dental Care

Feb 21, 2024

Pet Dental Health Month is an annual reminder of a widespread but often overlooked concern: dental health in dogs. Studies suggest that most pet dogs show signs of oral disease by age three, which can lead to discomfort and serious health complications. February is a great time to look at how we prioritize our dogs’ dental care to ensure they stay happy, healthy, and ready to flash us those lovable grins.

What Is National Pet Dental Health Month?

Photo: A man and a woman cuddle on their bed with a Chihuahua.Pet Dental Health Month started thanks to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and several veterinary organizations. They noticed that the very important issue of dental health in pets wasn’t getting enough spotlight, especially with how common dental issues were becoming. So, they chose February to turn things around and get everyone talking about pet dental care. What better month to show furry friends love?

Their initiative began to help pet parents understand the importance of dental health and what signs of trouble to look out for. It’s grown a lot since then, turning into a movement that stresses the importance of both yearly dental check-ups and daily oral care routines for pets. The idea was to make sure pet dental care got its due, understanding that a healthy mouth is a big part of a pet’s overall health. It’s been a push towards better care, blending education with action to keep our pets happy and healthy. And since more and more research suggests such a strong connection between dog oral health and overall health, there’s always more to learn.

What To Consider During Dog Dental Health Month?

Good dental health is crucial for dogs, not just for a clean set of chompers but for their overall well-being, too. When a dog’s dental health is neglected, it doesn’t just lead to bad breath; it can have a domino effect on their entire health. Dental issues like plaque and tartar buildup can lead to periodontal disease, affecting most dogs by age three. And we’re not just talking about your dog having sore gums; periodontal disease in dogs can lead to serious infections that might spread and impact vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Common dental troubles in dogs go beyond bad breath. They’re issues like canine gingivitis (inflamed gums), canine tooth decay, and even dog tooth loss. Any and all of those can make things painful for your best friend and that’s a problem due to more than just them being in pain. If it’s painful for your dog to eat, you may then be looking at nutritional deficiencies and that affects their overall health. What’s worse is that infections that start in the mouth can get into their bloodstream and pose a risk to other parts of their body.

Basically, keeping an eye on your dog’s dental health every day is a big deal. It’s about more than just avoiding a stinky breath; it’s about preventing a ton of health issues that can seriously affect their quality of life. Regular brushing, dental check-ups, and cleanings are key to keeping your dog not just happy, but healthy from nose to tail.

What To Watch Out For With Your Pet’s Teeth

Spotting dental issues in dogs early on can make a world of difference in their comfort and overall health. But what are some telltale signs that something might be up with your pup’s pearly whites? Bad breath is often the first red flag; it’s more than just a stinky thing you deal with during cuddle time—it can signal underlying problems. Or, if your dog is drooling more than usual, pawing at their mouth, or seems reluctant to eat, these could also be clues that their dental health needs attention. Visible tartar buildup, red or swollen gums, and any sign of discomfort while chewing should sound the alarm about possible problems with your pet’s dental health.

Though at Bernie’s Best, we typically focus on what you can do day-to-day to keep your dog’s teeth in tip-top shape, it’s worth mentioning that regular vet checkups can play an important role in catching dental issues before they become big problems. Having your vet take a look at your pet’s teeth to check for dental disease may prevent dental problems from getting worse. Too often, pet parents say they wish they’d had their pet’s teeth checked sooner, once they find out how significant an impact their pet’s oral health has on their overall wellness.

The good news is that some everyday steps you can take at home are equally important in keeping your dog’s dental health on track and may prevent the need for things like a thorough dental cleaning by your vet, or even more invasive treatment options.

What Does A Dental Cleaning For Dogs Look Like?

At your vet’s office, a professional dental cleaning involves scaling to remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, followed by polishing to smooth out the enamel. This can help prevent the attachment of new plaque. X-rays might be taken to check the health of the jaw and tooth roots below the gumline. Often, your dog will need to be under sedation to address the dental problems, which is why many vets recommend preventing periodontal disease by incorporating healthy daily oral routines for your dog.

Preventive Measures For Dental Disease In DogsPhoto: A Labrador mix smiles at the camera with a park behind him.

Maintaining your dog’s daily dental hygiene might seem like a challenge, but it’s easier than you might think, and it all starts at home. Daily brushing is typically a gold standard; just a few minutes can significantly prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Dental wipes can be a great alternative if your dog is a bit fussy with a toothbrush, though they don’t offer the abrasion aspect that helps remove dental plaque and tartar.

Diet also plays a pivotal role because much of your dog’s oral health is connected to their gut health and nutrient absorption. That’s why dental chews are so popular. They offer the physical aspect of an abrasive feature with each chew your dog takes, and many are even made with additional ingredients that are designed to freshen breath.

But when we were looking for a dental chew for dogs that also helped improve their gut health, we just weren’t finding it. In fact, many popular dental chews for dogs have ingredients we just didn’t want to put in our dogs’ bodies. That’s why we created Bernie’s Charming Chompers, so we could support Bernie’s and Lady’s dental health while also taking care of their overall health from the inside out. Charming Chompers are rich in fiber, which is key for good dog digestion. Ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin, and real turkey keep the belly happy and contribute to a cleaner mouth.

Additionally, yogurt is a source of calcium. This supports both their bone health while helping support a balanced gut. We also added things like blueberries to help combat oxidative stress and promote a healthy immune system, too.

Every day might as well fall in National Pet Dental Health Month because, at Bernie’s Best, we work to help dogs have cleaner teeth and healthier guts. Our Charming Chompers get to the root of oral health care in dogs–the gut–and with each chew, your dog gets a blend of ingredients that support dental hygiene and contribute to their overall vitality.

So go ahead, celebrate great dental health care every day with us!


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