Everyone wants their pet to be healthy but still many people overlook a key facet of an animal’s overall health, their teeth! According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3. Here are 5 simple ways in which you can keep your pet healthy and prevent dental disease.

1. Provide good nutrition 

Just like pets need good food for healthy coats and strong muscles, they need good nutrition to support healthy teeth. Providing them with high-quality pet food will improve their dental and overall health. Some supplements like probiotics may also help keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Make sure to discuss it with your vet before making any major changes to your pet’s diet.

2. Talk to your veterinarian

Next time your pet has a checkup make sure that your vet takes a good look at your pet’s teeth. Most dental disease actually occurs below the gum line where you can’t see it. Your vet will be able to spot things you might miss. Most veterinarians also recommend a dental cleaning at least once per year.

3. Brush their teeth

It may sound odd to some, but just like people pets benefit from having their teeth brushed regularly. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that you brush your pet's teeth at least 3 times per week. In fact, it’s the single most effective thing you can do to prevent tooth decay. Stop by Homestead Gardens today to grab a toothbrush for your pet and other dental accessories to help care for their teeth.

4. Provide toys and treats designed to help keep your pet’s teeth clean

While these treats and toys won’t provide adequate dental care by themselves they can help. Used consistently, specially designed treats and toys can help remove plaque and tartar build up from your pet’s teeth.

5. Know the warning signs of dental disease

Pets with dental disease may exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Redness of the gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Tenderness around the mouth and/or teeth
  • Drooling or dropping food
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite/poor appetite
  • Weight loss

If your pet displays any of these symptoms you should schedule a visit with your veterinarian.  You can also learn more about what you can do to keep your pet healthy and happy with Homestead Gardens' The Danger of Bad Breath for Pets.

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