Every February marks Pet Dental Health Month, a reminder of the common dental issues pets face and the importance of animal dental care.

Oral health is vital for pet owners to understand so they can mitigate the serious health risk concerns that arise with oral problems in furry friends. Thorough dental cleaning and good oral health help pets avoid issues like tartar build-up, gum disease, heart disease, kidney disease, and lung disease.

If you work in veterinary medicine, National Pet Dental Health Month is an excellent opportunity to spread awareness of maintaining a pet’s oral health. Keep reading to learn how to support good oral hygiene and compassionate care at your practice next February.

Understanding Pet Dental Health

Most people have a decent understanding of how to maintain their pet’s health, but they typically don’t fully understand how to conduct proper dental care. A pet’s teeth are vital to its overall health. Pet Dental Health Month is a great time to teach owners about the importance of dental cleaning.

The Prevalence of Dental Disease in Pets

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will have some type of dental disease by the time they turn three.

Symptoms of Dental Diseases

Helping owners become aware of the common symptoms of periodontal disease and other concerns can help them seek a prompt dental examination when their pet needs it most. Here are some symptoms owners should look for in and around their pet’s mouth:

  • Bad Breath: Foul odors from the mouth are one of the first signs of periodontal disease.
  • Difficulty eating: Pets may show signs of pain while chewing or lose interest in their food.
  • Red or swollen gums: Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can be a visible sign of periodontal disease.
  • Bleeding gums: Bleeding during daily brushing can indicate gum sensitivity or other concerns.
  • Loose or missing teeth: Advanced dental disease can lead to tooth mobility or total tooth loss.
  • Excessive drooling: Increased salivation can indicate oral discomfort.
  • Pawing at the mouth: Pets may paw at their mouths from tooth sensitivity or gum pain.
  • Visible tartar: Accumulation of tartar on the teeth near the gum line means the pet’s mouth is overdue for regular dental cleanings.

Key Dental Care Practices During Pet Dental Health Month

So, how can your veterinary technicians and veterinarians celebrate Pet Dental Health Month? You can try teaching some at-home techniques while also encouraging professional dental procedures and cleanings.

At-Home Techniques To Preserve a Pet’s Dental Health

Here are some tips you can offer clients for caring for their pets’ teeth at home:

  • Use dental chews as a fun way to preserve your pet’s teeth. Be sure to check all ingredients.
  • Brush your cat or dog’s teeth carefully using your finger or a toothbrush. Be sure to avoid human toothpaste.
  • Look for signs of a bacterial infection, such as those listed above.
  • Call a vet to schedule professional care for your pet on a regular basis.


Professional Veterinary Care

Professional cleanings and check-ups are required annually to prevent most dental disease concerns. You can encourage owners to schedule their annual cleaning during Pet Dental Health Month.

Advanced Dental Treatments for Pets

You can use Pet Dental Health Month as an opportunity to help owners understand when pets may need advanced dental treatments.

When Is Advanced Care Necessary for a Pet’s Teeth?

Some situations can require more advanced care to preserve a pet’s oral hygiene, such as the following:

  • Broken teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Infections
  • Swollen gums
  • Severe tartar build-ups
  • And more


Available Treatments and Innovations

Advanced dental treatments available for pets can include oral surgery, dental extractions, root canal treatments, deep cleanings, and more. Animal hospitals can use anesthesia to perform various innovative procedures.

Dental Month for Dogs and Cats: Special Considerations

Pet Dental Health Month can mean different things for dogs and cats:

Specific Needs for Dogs

Dogs often have issues with tooth cracking and drooling. Dog owners should exercise extra care when selecting new toys or treats for their furry loved ones.

Specific Needs for Cats

Common feline dental problems include gingivitis, tooth resorption (loss), and stomatitis (inflammation). Along with the tips above, cat owners can consider water or food additives to boost their kitty’s oral health.

How Weave Supports Pet Dental Health

At Weave, we’re passionate about helping veterinary practices provide the best care possible.

Explore some of our resources for pet dental care:


Integrating Dental Health Into Overall Veterinary Care

Our products at Weave can help you manage and remind patients of dental health appointments so you can stay on top of Pet Dental Health Month while improving your overall veterinary care.

Start Preparing for Veterinary Dental Month Today

Pet Dental Health Month is a great way to remind owners of the importance of animal oral hygiene. Get a demo of Weave today to see how we can help you support pet dental health. 

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