A CARDIFF veterinary practice is urging owners to check their pet’s teeth and gums so they don’t suffer dental pain in silence.
The Park Vets team are seeing more and more cats, dogs, rabbits and other domestic pets in pain due to teeth and gum problems.
Eight out of 10 of the UK’s cats and dogs are suffering from dental disease, according to veterinary studies .
In addition, research from the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report showed just 35 per cent of owners check their cat’s teeth, rising slightly to 52 per cent of rabbit owners and 65 per cent of dog owners.
Park Vets, with practices in Cardiff, Penarth and Pontypridd, is advising owners to ‘Brush Them, Check Them, Treat Them’ and take some simple steps when it comes to improving their furry friend’s oral health.
Senior veterinary nurse Jane Edwards said: “With veterinary research showing up to 80% of dogs and cats having some sort of dental disease, it is one of the most common health problems in pets due to a combination of dietary and genetic factors.
“Dental disease is often caused by a build-up of tartar on your pet’s teeth and this may lead to simple gingivitis which if left unattended can cause irreversible disease which can lead to loss of teeth and extensive pain for the pet.
“As with humans, the key to preventing diseases so pets don’t suffer in silence is regular tooth brushing and statistics show owners are lapse when it comes to this and checking their pet’s teeth in general.
“We all hope our pets won’t need dental treatment – especially if owners have been caring for their teeth from an early age. However, if they do, vet practices are here to help.”
Signs of dental disease with a pet include bad breath and not wanting to eat, but more commonly there are other signs that you will only see when examining their mouth.
Five top tips for owners when it comes to a pet’s dental health are:
• Brush your pet’s teeth regularly, ideally everyday
• Introduce tooth brushing to your pet as young as possible
• Take your pet to the vet regularly for dental health checks
• Be aware of any changes that might indicate dental health issues e.g. bad breath
• Feed your pet a dental friendly diet
To offer extra help and support to pet owners. Park Vets has free mini dental health kits to give out to people at the practice.
Please speak to your vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s dental health or if you would like further advice.