Is Your Pet’s Bad Breath Dogging You?

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The experts at Banfield, The Pet Hospital urge pet owners to make dental health an important part of long-term pet care.

Preventive oral care for your pet is a step toward a healthy, long-lasting relationship.

Proper dental care is just as important to the long-term health of a pet as routine vaccinations.

The internal research team of Banfield, The Pet Hospital, supports findings that 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs over the age of 3 display signs of oral disease, including bad breath, pain while chewing, weight loss, yellow teeth, red or swollen gums, missing teeth, nasal discharge or tearing or swelling below one eye. But periodontal, or gum disease, affects more than the mouth.

“Periodontal disease has also been associated with changes in a pets’ kidneys, liver and cardiac functions,” said Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, DACVIM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield. “In short, unhealthy teeth can lead to an unhealthy pet in ways pet owners can’t imagine.”

Experts emphasize that prevention is the best medicine. Banfield hospitals, most of which are located in PetSmart stores nationwide, include comprehensive dental care in two of their Optimum Wellness Plan options, which are packages of preventive care services. In addition to regular exams, Banfield recommends that pet owners brush their pets’ teeth every day, or at least two or three times a week. Feeding pets firm kibble can help slow down plaque formation, as can dental chew toys and dental-specific water additives.

“In addition to professional cleanings, our veterinarians are trained to provide a manageable at-home dental plan that pet owners can easily follow,” said Karen Johnson, DVM, vice president and client advocate for Banfield. “At Banfield, preventive care is the cornerstone of our practice – to us, proper dental care is just as important to the long-term health of a pet as routine vaccinations.”

For more information or to find a local Banfield hospital, visit banfield.net.

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Kim VanSyoc
Banfield, The Pet Hospital
503-922-5342
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