Yes, your pet does, at least once a year. Your dog or cat NEVER brushes their teeth (unless you do brush your pet’s teeth, and if you do, hats off to you!) and tartar and plaque build up rather quickly. Just like with human teeth, this build up of tartar and plaque can cause gum disease. Gum disease can cause periodontal disease and bone loss. Soon after, teeth will just fall out and overwhelming infection will be in the mouth. Think about this, if you NEVER brushed your teeth for a year, do you think a dental cleaning would be in order? Of course it would!
By cleaning your pet’s teeth yearly you are decreasing the risk of dental disease that can lead to infection in other parts of the body. Often times, chronic urinary tract infections, chronic skin infections and constant gastrointestinal issues have all been linked to an infection in the mouth. By keeping the mouth clean and healthy, the entire body stays healthy.
Can I just feed my dog or cat hard food to clean its teeth? Well you can feed just hard food, but it won’t clean its teeth. If you ate only hard food would you not clean your teeth? Of course not! It doesn’t matter whether you feed hard or soft food, your pet still needs its teeth cleaned at least once yearly.
But dental cleanings are so expensive! A dental cleaning for a cat including all anesthesia, IV catheter, monitoring, dental xrays and a full scale and polish is less than $300. A diagnostic workup for a sick cat that may have a urinary infection costs at least that to just diagnose a sick cat. Preventing disease is always more cost effective than treating a disease. Not to mention so much easier on your pet! I am a firm believer in preventative care and preventing disease before it happens!
We celebrate pet dental month twice yearly, in September and February, so be sure to be looking for additional savings during these months!