June 26, 2022 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Smile it is National Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health month so why not take an active role in your pet’s teeth? 

By Maria Libonate, RVT

Many veterinary hospitals across the country are promoting dental health this month by offering a discount on teeth cleaning or dental products, as well as providing information and tips on teeth brushing and even giving away sample kits, including toothbrushes and dental treats. Check with your veterinarian to see what they are offering.

Your veterinarian will recommend brushing the teeth daily. Courtesy Thinkstock.

At home there are many things you can do to help keep your pet’s teeth healthy like; brushing their teeth, offering them healthy dental treats and chews, feeding them a special dental diet, and even adding a water additive.

So why is it so important to keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy? Dental disease can lead to other issues, such as infections. These infections, if left untreated for long enough, can enter the bloodstream and affect the internal organs, such as the kidneys and liver. This is why it’s so important to keep your pet’s smile healthy and clean.

Your veterinarian will recommend brushing the teeth daily, and a technician can show you how to brush properly. We know that not all animals are cooperative, though, so brushing may not be an option for your pet.

french bulldog dog holding electric toothbrush with mouth , beside white blank banner or placard, isolated on white background
February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Courtesy Thinkstock.

The next best thing would be to offer dental treats or chews that have added enzymes to help clean teeth, as well as allowing the pet to use the chewing action as a way to “brush” their teeth. This is also something that can be done with special dental diets that you can either feed as meals or offer as treats.

The last option if your pet is not a chewer or food motivated, is to use a water additive that may help to fight bacteria in your animal’s mouth. This last option is not the best, but it’s better than nothing!

Professional dental cleanings are also an excellent way to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. These are done under anesthesia so that the doctor or technician doing the cleaning can get under the gum line and perform a deep cleaning with scaling, polishing, and a fluoride treatment. Dental x-rays are also taken while the pet is under completing a full assessment of the pet’s teeth.

Teeth are like icebergs, where a large portion of the tooth (the roots) lie hidden beneath the surface. This is why x-rays are so necessary, because a tooth may look normal on the outside, but maybe hiding signs of disease under the gum line and this can only be seen with x-rays. Due to this fact, most veterinarians will not recommend anesthetic-free dental cleanings as they do not provide a thorough enough clean. With a pet awake and alert, it can be close to impossible to get under the gum line to clean and obviously not possible to do dental x-rays. The teeth may look clean afterward, but there could be underlying disease that may eventually lead to a serious infection.

Untreated, dental disease can lead to serious issues. Courtesy Thinkstock.

If you notice a bad odor from your pet’s mouth or any swelling of the face, or if they seem to be having trouble chewing or eating, it may be time to have their mouth examined. The next time you visit your veterinarian, have them check your pet’s teeth and ask for a tooth brushing demonstration. The doctor will be able to tell you as well as show you if any of the teeth look diseased, if there is any gingivitis, and if your pet is in need of a dental cleaning.

Keeping your pet’s teeth healthy and clean will allow them to live a happy and healthy life overall. There’s nothing better than a nice clean smile!

Maria Libonate is a Registered Veterinary Technician. She works at the VCA Venice Boulevard Animal Hospital at 12108 Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista. Ph: 310.313.9118. There is also a VCA clinic at 2506 Lincoln Boulevard in Venice. Ph: 310.306.8707.

Tags: in Opinion
Related Posts

Column: Where Will We Shelter the Homeless?

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

By Jeff Hall Federal Judge David O. Carter is a hero, as far as I’m concerned.  He essentially forced the...

Column: LA Election Results Remain Tight, Close & Competitive Come the Fall Runoffs!

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

By Nick Antonicello The results for the June 7th Primary continue to trickle-in with not much change:  In that special...

Column: Centennial Park Update – Cleared, Cleaned & Fenced!

June 16, 2022

June 16, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Centennial Park, long a homeless encampment for months that had spilled out-of-control into a haven for open...

The New Math: How Does Caruso Get to Victory in a One-on-One Race With Karen Bass?

June 15, 2022

June 15, 2022

By Nick Antonicello After a $45 million investment in a race he was expected to win, Republican-turned, independent-turned Democrat Rick...

Column: The Endorsement Race!

June 13, 2022

June 13, 2022

With 40 percent of the CD-11 vote up for grabs and four months to go, Park & Darling will compete...

Column: It’s Caruso/Bass for Mayor, Darling/Park for CD-11, Rest of the Field Is Eliminated as We Brace for a November Runoff!

June 9, 2022

June 9, 2022

Villanueva/Luna locked in a tight battle for LA County sheriff! Hertzberg/Horvath headed for runoff for LA County Supervisor! Pullen-Miles leads...

The Yo! Venice Interview: Kevin McGurk for LA County Judge

June 6, 2022

June 6, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  With so much time in court litigating both criminal and civil cases, the position of public defender...

Population Loss: New Era or Pandemic Glitch?

June 3, 2022

June 3, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist The numbers suggest a major change is underway in California. It would take a Nostradamus to...

Column: Down the Stretch They Come

June 3, 2022

June 3, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  A “manufactured narrative” in this race to succeed outgoing,  “lame duck” Councilmember Mike Bonin is that certain...

Interview: LAUSD School Member Nick Melvoin. The Teacher That Puts Kids First!

June 2, 2022

June 2, 2022

By Nick Antonicello If you didn’t know any better, you would think LA school board member Nick Melvoin was twenty-points...

Keeping Kids Safe in Wake of the Tragedy of Uvalde, Texas

June 2, 2022

June 2, 2022

By Nick Antonicello In wake of the shootings that occurred in Uvalde, Texas I reached out to Allison Holdorff-Polhill, a...

Column: MAYOR ROBERT PULLEN-MILES, THE BEST CHOICE FOR VENICE REPRESENTING IN SACRAMENTO!

June 1, 2022

June 1, 2022

Lawndale Mayor uniquely qualified to succeed Autumn Burke in the California General Assembly By Nick Antonicello  On Tuesday June 7th voters...

Yo! Venice Sits Down With CD-11 Conservative Mat Smith About Homelessness, Rising Crime and the Quality-of-Life Conditions in Venice and Beyond!

June 1, 2022

June 1, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  It was only appropriate that Yo! Venice speak with CD-11 council hopeful Mat Smith over the long...

Column: “True” Democrat?

May 30, 2022

May 30, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Just what is a “true” Democrat?  It’s an interesting question in a non-partisan council contest where attorney...

Column: Productive Public Safety Over Party Politics and Partisan Ways! Why LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva Deserves Another Four Years!

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Is there a Democratic or Republican way to reduce homeless encampments and fight rising crime? Does politics...