September is national Pet Smile Month, when veterinary surgeons around the country will perform free dental checks on your pet.
During September 2010 owners may take their pets into participating Pet Smile Month Veterinary Practices and receive a complimentary “Pet Smile Check-Up” – a free check on their pet’s oral health. In addition the veterinary team will be able to offer advice leaflets and information on special chews and other preventive care measures.
Vets are very worried about the state of pets’ teeth in the UK. It is estimated that 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three urgently need dental treatment. Many loving pet owners do not realise the extent of their pet’s disease and are unaware of the importance of tooth brushing, daily oral hygiene chews and the special dental diets which can help avoid the problems.
Dental disease is a welfare issue. “Dog’s breath” is the very least of the worries. Oral pain is a feature – but often goes unnoticed because pets carry on eating. As periodontal disease progresses, bacteria spreads from the mouth through the blood stream to affect other organs such as the kidneys and heart valves. In addition little showers of bacteria are carried into the lungs with every breath.
Vets rightly regard dental disease as a whole body problem and one that needs more attention. To highlight this very serious issue they are donating their time to examine pets’ mouths free of charge during September. There will also be demonstrations of tooth brushing and the use of oral chews and special diets.
Owners who wish to have a Pet Smile Check-Up for their pets should contact their own veterinary practice to see if they are a registered Pet Smile Month Practice.