Did you know that by 3 years of age, most dogs have some evidence of periodontal disease? (www.avdc.org) Dental disease in dogs is serious and can cause death if an infection spreads to the brain. In honor of National Pet Wellness Month (October), Mario Bardouille, a dog groomer and trainer who provides expertise on behalf of Petsmile, makers of Supersmile, shared with us the 6 most common myths about pets and their pearly whites that should be debunked once and for all.
Myth 1 – You can use human toothpaste for pets
People paste usually contains fluoride, which can be toxic for pets. Only use paste made for pets. For example, Petsmile’s pet-friendly toothpaste is made from a unique formula that combats the buildup of plaque and tartar in your dog’s mouth while also eliminating odor causing bacteria. It is approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
Myth 2 – Pets are supposed to have bad breath
While most dogs and cats don’t have pleasant breath, very foul breath can indicate a health issue like poor gum conditions such as gingivitis. If your dog’s breath is bad, taken him to the vet to have him checked out, just in case!
Myth 3 – Real bones are good for your pet’s teeth
Real bones can fracture teeth or splinter and cause injuries. Stick to hard kibble and pet-safe dental chew toys to help prevent the build-up of harmful plaque. Spread a layer of toothpaste on your pet’s favorite toy to increase dental hygiene regularity and their love for you!
Myth 4 – Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans’
42% of pet owners believe this myth. Dogs’ mouths are in fact no cleaner than their owner’s! Since the teeth and gum anatomy of dogs and cats is similar to ours, plaque naturally accumulates on pets’ teeth over time just as it would for us if we didn’t practice proper oral hygiene. Similarly, just as humans need to regularly brush our teeth and spend a few visits at the dentist’s office, our pet’s need to undergo the same treatment. Plaque left untended on your pet’s teeth can lead to periodontal disease and more harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Myth 5 – Pets with dental pain will not eat
Although we consider our pets our furry children, owners need to remember that pets have a very strong survival instinct, which generally means that they will absolutely continue to eat despite being in substantial pain. Don’t wait for your dog to show signs of pain. Instead, take him for routine dental check-ups and brush your dog’s teeth regularly.