February is pet dental health month, and there’s no better time to encourage your clients to schedule regular cleanings for pets. As a vet, you may already know that periodontal disease is the number one health problem diagnosed in dogs and cats. Whether you are a veterinarian or a pet owner, statistics indicate that we need to increase the awareness of periodontal disease in pets. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80 to 85 percent of all pets have periodontal disease. For pets 4 years old and up, that number increases to 100 percent.
Many pet owners don’t realize that dental health in pets affects the heart, lungs and kidneys; therefore, they many not know how important it is for them to provide daily dental care for pets, before poor dental health becomes a larger problem. Help prevent common periodontal issues by offering these pet dental health tips to your clients.
Preventive Dental Care
While clinics are already encouraging clients to bring in their pets for regular cleanings, a large majority of pet owners are not scheduling regular visits to the vet. A recent USA Today article revealed some statistics from the annual report from Banfield Pet Hospital. According to the report, “Dog vet visits have slipped 21% since 2001 and cat visits have dropped 30%.” Because regular cleanings are an important part of preventive care, periodontal disease may also be on the rise due to this trend.
Expense is one reason some owners may not make regular visits a priority, but some vets argue that education and outreach are also part of the problem. Some clinics are taking advantage of social media to help educate pet owners and post reminders about regular checkups and dental cleanings. During our interview for Clinic of the Month at the Animal Hospital of Hinesburg here in Vermont, we discussed this issue with a few of the veterinarians and the office manager.
Pet Dental Health Tips
If cost or age is not a factor, it’s important to speak with clients about the reality of how often dental cleanings are needed. Additionally, you can provide ways for pet owners to give pets periodontal support between visits. Perio Support by VetriScience® contains an advanced formula with unique minerals to help control plaque, reduce bad breath, and to support gum health in cats and dogs. It is available in a convenient powder that can be sprinkled over food for daily dental support in between cleanings.
Perio Plus Stix for Dogs has been designed with a targeted and hassle free delivery system as part of a daily periodontal care program. The dual layer delivery system provides an outer layer that promotes dental cleansing, plaque control, and fresh breath. The inner layer supports oral health and gum tissue integrity. This product is formulated specifically for use between routine veterinary dental cleanings to help maintain clean teeth and fresh breath. Perio Plus Feline Bites feature a similar formula in a tasty bite-sized stick for cats.
What pet dental health tips do you provide for clients? Let us know how you encourage pet owners to schedule regular dental cleanings and provide daily dental care for their pets. Post your tips on Facebook.