Pet dental disease is preventable and treatable, yet 85% of pets have tooth problems by age 3, and dental disease is the most commonly diagnosed pet problem. Best Friends Veterinary Care wants to answer this question: Why do so many pets suffer with tooth problems? One of our most knowledgeable patients, Darren the dachshund, lists the common reasons pet owners hesitate to schedule their pet’s professional dental cleaning, and shares his “dreamy” professional dental cleaning experience.

Reason #1: My pet doesn’t need a dental cleaningbad “doggie breath” is normal

Darren: “When my breath got bad, no one wanted to be anywhere near my face until we realized the odor was from my dental disease. Best Friends Veterinary Care cleaned my teeth, and all I had to do was sleep. When I woke up, the rough, sore, infected places in my mouth were already starting to heal. Now my breath smells awesome, and my dreams came truedoggie hugs and kisses are back!”

Pet “bad breath” is not normal. If pets do not receive appropriate dental care, plaque and tartar form on their teeth and create perfect places for bacteria to flourish. Bacterial infection causes bad breath. If you have noticed your pet has bad breath, flip their lip. You may be shocked at what you see, especially on their back cheek teeth. After a professional dental cleaning at our hospital, your pet’s fresh breath will smell like a dream.

Reason #2: I’m afraid of the anesthesia risk with pet dental procedures

Darren: “The awesome Best Friends team took many steps to make my anesthesia as safe as possible. First, they checked my preanesthetic blood work and examined me physically to ensure I was not at risk for any complications. Then, with plenty of relaxing pain medication on board, they placed an intravenous catheter so I could have fluid therapy throughout the procedure. Right after I fell asleep, the team placed a breathing tube to secure my airway. They monitored my blood pressure, pulse rate, heart rhythm, oxygen levels, breathing rate, and body temperature. I woke up from a pleasant dream feeling rested and great!”

No anesthesia can be 100% risk-free, but veterinary anesthesia is extremely safe today. At our hospital, we follow the latest guidelines and use the latest technology to ensure the safest pet anesthesia possible. A custom anesthesia plan ensures each pet receives the safest, individualized, anesthetic medication plan.

Reason #3: I fear a dental procedure will cause my pet more pain

Darren: “My dental disease caused pain, and my dental cleaning relieved my pain. The Best Friends veterinary care team provided pain medication before, during, and after my dental procedure. When they extracted one painful tooth, they used local anesthesia to numb that part of my mouth. When I woke up, I was relaxed and happy, and feeling no pain.”

Our pets can be masters at hiding pain, so many pet owners do not realize that dental disease can be painful. Many owners think negative pet personality changes are because of old age, when the grumpy behaviors are actually from chronic mouth pain. Your pet may have jaw bone deterioration, tooth root exposure, and painful loose teeth, without you knowing. After we treat their dental disease, your precious pet will have an entirely new attitude, and feel they are on cloud nine.

Reason #4: My pet’s teeth do not need cleaning because I give him bones

Darren: “Cow bones and hooves are not a good choice for pets. One of my friends chewed a bone that splintered and damaged his teeth, mouth, and gastrointestinal tract. He needed exploratory surgery and a fractured tooth extraction. A professional pet dental cleaning under anesthesia is the only way to properly clean and polish every tooth surface. The resulting smooth, shiny surface discourages bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup. Yummy, safe dental treats, such as Greenies and CET chews, also can reduce plaque formation by 70% in pets.” 

Daily dental chews are a good choice, but must be combined with brushing and professional dental cleaning for maximum success. Choose appropriately sized dental chews for your pet to avoid choking hazards and pet emergency nightmares. Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval on products you buy, so your pet’s chewing can be relaxing, gentle, healthy, and down-right dreamy.

Darren is a fictional canine, but we agree with his dental advice. Don’t let your pet suffer dental pain and infection. Call Best Friends Veterinary Care for a dental care consultation. If your pet dreams of sparkling clean teeth and no pain, schedule a professional pet dental cleaning under anesthesia, so they can dream until their dreams come true.