Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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Pet Talk

March 18, 2013

Pet Talk: Dental care's important for your dogs and cats

(Continued)

The best way to ward off potential oral disease in your pet is by keeping your pet’s teeth clean and checkups regular.

Your veterinarian and local pet retail stores should carry toothbrushes and toothpaste for your pets. Different flavors of toothpastes are available for dog and cats.

"Your pet needs to get their teeth cleaned yearly," said Dodd. "Most veterinary clinics should offer dental cleaning services, but if they do not they can refer you to someone who does."

To help ward off gum diseases and bad breath, there are products you can feed your pet that help improve and promote oral health.

"There are certain dog treats that help promote good dental health," said Dodd. "The right kind of treat should crumble, be easily crushed, and contain chlorhexadine or a hydrogen peroxide-type additive that can help with the bacteria count in the animal's mouth. Balancing this bacteria count can help prevent and get rid of bad breath."

A helpful guide to go by when considering your pets' oral health is the Veterinary Oral Health Council website. They have a compiled list of products that are intended to help reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth of animals and have created the VOHC seal of approval. To see the full list of VOHC approved products visit www.vohc.org.

Brushing your pet's teeth, taking them for a yearly visit to the dentist, and giving them VOHC approved products are all ways that you can help make sure your pet has a clean and healthy mouth.

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Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.

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