Did you know that by 3 years old, more than 75% of dogs and cats have periodontal disease?  Here are five questions you can use to help evaluate if your dog or cat may need a professional dental cleaning.

  1. Does your pet have bad breath?  We don’t expect your pet to have minty fresh breath, but they shouldn’t have chronic foul breath either.  Bad breath (aka Halitosis) can be a key indicator that it’s time to take a look at your pet’s teeth and see if there is plaque build-up or periodontal disease.
  2. Is there noticeable discoloring or build-up on your pet’s teeth?  If you’re able to lift up your furry friend’s lips you should be able to get a glimpse of your pet’s teeth to see if there’s any build-up or if gums are bright red.
  3. Has your pet had a change in appetite?  When it’s feeding time, do they act interested in food and then back away?  Do they drop food when they’re eating or eat slowly?  Have you noticed unexplained weight loss? Any of these things could signify a painful mouth.
    Cat Sore Tooth Cartoon
  4. Has your pet started drooling (or drooling more than usual)?  Pawing at their face?   Mouth pain or irritation due to periodontal disease could be the reason.  A check with your veterinarian is recommended and can help solve the mystery.
  5. Is your pet behaving differently than usual (i.e. grumpy)?  Or, are they failing to groom themselves?  Our pets, especially cats, habitually groom themselves to keep clean.  If you notice that your pet hasn’t kept up or looks a little less clean, it could due to oral discomfort.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s a good chance that your pet needs to have a professional dental cleaning.  We can help you evaluate your pet’s oral health, so please feel free to call us to schedule an assessment or cleaning.  If you don’t notice any of these symptoms in your furry friend, then continue preventative oral care to keep your pet’s mouth in good health.