It is estimated that 80 percent of people brush their teeth every day, but far fewer pet owners do the same for their pets. Pet Dental Health Month, celebrated every February, teaches pet owners that proper dental hygiene is equally as important for their pets.
"Most people have no idea that dental health is so important to their pets, and that's why Pet Dental Health Month is such a great idea," explains Dr. Larry Corry, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). "In fact, veterinarians report that periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in dogs and cats. This can lead to painful infections of the mouth, and in severe cases these infections can spread and become life-threatening conditions. During Pet Dental Health Month, the AVMA is encouraging all dog and cat owners to regularly brush their pet's teeth and regularly see their veterinarian for checkups."
The AVMA, a sponsor of Pet Dental Health Month, offers an informative video giving step-by-step instructions on how to brush your pet's teeth. The Pet Dental Month Web site, www.petdental.com, includes tips from a veterinary expert on pet dental health, Dr. Brook Niemiec.
"Periodontal disease, an infection of the gums, is incredibly common in pets, and it can be quite serious," explains Dr. Niemiec, a board certified veterinary dental specialist. "It's estimated that by the age of two, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal infections have been linked to diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and other life threatening disorders. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by regularly brushing your pet's teeth and by regularly visiting your veterinarian."