The Importance of Pet Dental Care

Image: Vetstreet

Image: Vetstreet

Did you know that pet dental care is not just about teeth? Providing preventative dental care for your pet is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding his overall health. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, oral disease is the single largest disease process affecting your pets today with 80% of dogs and 70% of cats showing signs of disease by the age of three.

Because the mouth is warm and moist, the oral cavity of pets is a perfect incubator for all kinds of bacteria. Most bacteria are normal and natural, but once plaque and calculus form on the teeth, the normal microbial flora gets out of balance, and if pathogenic organisms proliferate, trouble ensues (T. J. Dunn, Jr., DVM). Oral disease can have a major impact on your pet’s organs, including his heart, liver, and kidneys. Studies show that by performing preventative dental maintenance your pet’s life can be extended another two to three years.

Signs of Dental Disease

  • Bad breath
  • Yellow, brown, or discolored teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Swollen mouth, jaws, or gums
  • Doesn’t play with chew toys as often
  • Pain when eating

Aggressive home care can help prevent oral disease, but sometimes it is not enough. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a particular dental cleaning schedule, oral care routine, or special treatment based on your pet’s dental health needs. Click on the link below to watch a video on the proper way to clean your dog’s teeth.

Fun Fact: Penn was the first veterinary school in North America to offer an organized program in veterinary dentistry and oral surgery.

Upcoming Events:

Mark your calendars and plan to visit Braxton’s as they host local rescue organizations in February. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet some of the wonderful pets available for adoption. For more information on any of the following events, click here.

February 1, 2014: Rescue Animal Placements 11-4.

February 9, 2014: DelCo  SPCA 12-3.

February 15, 2014: Animal Rescue Foundation 9-3.

February 22, 2014: Finding Shelter 11-2.

February 23, 2014: Francisvale Home for Small Animals 1-3.







  1. I want to make sure that I take good care of my dog and cat. I didn’t even think about the fact that dental health is important to them, too! Both of them have pretty bad breath, so I’ll be sure to take them in to a vet as soon as I can.

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