Despite the millions that Americans spend on their pets, just two percent of dog owners brush their dog’s teeth daily, and only 14 percent of dogs receive dental care by a vet, according to a recent release by Wellness Pet, which is based in Tewksbury.
A lack of proper dental care adds up: Dental disease affects 80 percent of adult dogs and 96 percent of senior dogs.
February is Pet Dental Health month, and the company, which produces all-natural Whimzees by Wellness daily dental treats for dogs, wants to help pet parents care for their dog’s teeth. It’s about more than fresh breath and an Instagram-worthy smile. If left untreated, dental disease can lead to tooth loss, mouth pain and even systemic health issues.
To help pet parents take action and make simple, easy changes for a healthier future, Dr. Danielle Bernal, veterinarian with Wellness Pet, shares her top tips for oral health:
- Start Today! There’s no better time to jump into oral care for your dog. Don’t feel discouraged if you’re hearing about this for the first time or intimidated by adding another facet to your dog’s wellbeing. Let their smile motivate you to do the best you can for their overall health!
- Create a daily routine: The most important part of pet dental health is consistency. Harmful plaque and germs can recolonize on a dog’s tooth is just 24 hours, so daily dental care is key to prevent the development of disease. Whether it’s brushing teeth or using a dental treat, make it part of a daily routine, just like it is for humans: breakfast, morning walk and dental care time.
- Watch for Warning Signs: Understand the signs of dental disease and keep a close eye on your dog’s oral health to stay ahead of complications. Discolored teeth, broken or loose teeth, super stinky breath, reduced appetite and inflamed gums are all signs that your dog’s dental health is declining, and are great reasons to visit the vet for a professional checkup.
- Make It Easier: If you’ve tried to brush your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush, you know that it can be a challenge. To make it easier, try brushing every other day and supplement care with a dental treat. Look for treats that have natural ingredients and pack a long chewing time.
“It’s our mission to show pet parents that one of the best ways to love our dogs is by taking the time to care for their teeth, because proper dental health is the gateway to a lifetime of overall health,” said Bernal. “We’re still seeing too many dogs affected by dental disease, so we’ve created a daily dental care routine that’s easy and fun with Whimzees. Let’s make it the year that we give dogs their best, healthiest smiles so they can live their best and healthiest lives.”
Want the chance to win a year’s supply of Whimzees by Wellness treats? Check out the Healthier by the Smile Sweepstakes during the month of February, and upload a picture of your dog’s smile.