The Importance of Dental Cleaning for Pets

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Is Dog Teeth Cleaning Really Necessary?

The importance of cleaning dogs’ teeth is starting to become more and more apparent as veterinary science advances. At first it started with pet owners complaining about their dogs’ foul breath and wanting solutions—as veterinarians investigated the problem further, a disturbing recognition came to light: at least 80% of dogs (and close to the same number of cats) suffer from some level of pet dental disease. And it isn’t just the annoyance of bad breath. Pets with periodontal disease struggle with excruciating pain that they can’t communicate to their owners, a loss of appetite and sometimes teeth, and deteriorating health from bacterial infections that can invade the bloodstream and move on to internal organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. So is dog teeth cleaning really necessary? If you want a happy, healthy pet, the answer is yes!

Symptoms of Pet Dental Disease

Your pet may be one of the 80% in need of pet dental care if he or she:

  • Has very foul breath
  • Drools excessively
  • Has red, swollen and/or bleeding gums
  • Has loose or missing teeth
  • Has crusty, yellow buildup on the teeth
  • Has chew toys stained with blood
  • Seems in pain when eating or drinking (or is reluctant to do either of those activities)
  • Has any cysts, lumps or tumors on or under the tongue or on the gums
  • Has never had a pet dental checkup

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, the importance of cleaning dogs’ teeth will be immediately apparent. Call Woodbridge Animal Hospital for a pet dental appointment right away. But keep in mind: many pets hide their dental pain well; so even if no symptoms are readily apparent, there may still be a problem, particularly if your pet has never had a dental checkup. So schedule an appointment as soon as you can whether symptoms are apparent or not.

The Importance of Cleaning Dogs Teeth

There are two critical aspects to pet dental health:

  1. Professional veterinary dental cleanings (at least once a year as recommended by the AAHA)

Keep in mind that a regularly-scheduled dog dental cleaning costs far less than having to treat organ and tissue damage caused by unchecked dental disease. Our veterinarian will thoroughly examine your pet’s teeth under anesthesia. The anesthesia is important because your pet needs to remain absolutely still during the cleaning process; the dental tools are sharp and a nervous flinch from even the calmest pet can lead to injury. This will also enable our Woodbridge veterinarian to give the most thorough cleaning and check for any other problems. If your pet’s dental problems are severe, we can also perform extractions or other oral surgery procedures to halt the damage and help your pet recover and feel better.

  1. A daily dental hygiene routine at home:

If you’re still asking, “Is dog teeth cleaning really necessary,” remember that daily brushing will not only keep your dog dental cleaning costs down—it will give your pet a longer, healthier, less-painful life. Without regular brushing, plaque builds up and becomes cement-like tartar that becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. This is the bacteria that can damage gums, facial bones, teeth and internal organs.

If you are not sure about how to train your pet to accept a daily tooth brushing, our Woodbridge Animal Hospital team can give you advice, instructions and even outfit you with the appropriate toothbrushes and toothpastes that will work for your pet. (NOTE: Do not use human toothpastes for your pet as these can upset your pet’s stomach. Besides, specially-formulated pet toothpastes come in yummy flavors like chicken, tuna and peanut butter; flavors more enjoyable for your pet!)

Dog Dental Cleaning Costs Pays for Itself with a Healthier Pet

Now that you understand the importance of cleaning your dog’s teeth, you can see how dog dental cleaning costs can pay for themselves with a happier, healthier pet. It can literally improve your whole family’s quality of life! And during the month of February 2014, Woodbridge Animal Hospital has a special pet dental discount:

Call (703) 897-5665 to Get 10% off pet dental procedures during the month of Feb 2014!

Help your pet stay happier and healthier today with great dental health! If you have any questions about brushing your pet’s teeth or are concerned about any symptoms you notice, call us anytime at (703) 897-5665.



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