Do you brush your pet's teeth every day? With gum disease more prevalent in dogs than in humans, now may be the time to start.
- Untreated gum disease can cause problems for cats and dogs
- There are preventative measures you can take, like brushing
- Emergency dental treatment can be painful and costly
Gum disease can be more common in dogs than humans. Just like humans, bacteria in your pet's food can develop into plaque that causes disease if left untreated.
That's why you should check if your pet insurance includes dental insurance.
Untreated gum disease can lead to all sorts of problems for dogs and cats.
What dental problems can pets have?
Untreated gum disease can lead to all sorts of problems for dogs and cats. Plaque on teeth can cause gums to redden and bleed. The plaque can also harden over time and turn to tartar that will need to be removed.
If the plaque is left on the tooth, it can cause the tooth to become loose in its socket and be prone to infection. A bad tooth infection could even cause secondary infections in your dog's heart, lungs or kidneys.
Look out for bad breath, bleeding or red gums, difficulty eating and blood on toys or in the water bowl, as they can all be indicators that your pet has gum disease and needs to see a vet.
How much does pet dental treatment cost?
Emergency dental treatment can add up to hundreds of pounds, especially if your pet has developed an infection and needs antibiotics.
The vet will typically need to put your pet under anaesthetic to scrape the tartar off the teeth and deal with rotten teeth and infection in the gum. They may also want to x-ray your pet's head to check for any other problems that may arise as a result of gum disease.
All this adds up, so make sure you have enough pet dental insurance included in your pet insurance.
Why does my pet need dental insurance?
Accidents happen, especially when your pets are young. Dogs are especially prone to chewing things they shouldn't and this can sometimes cause chipped teeth and gum problems.
Also, some pets are born with a dental problem that means they're either missing teeth or their first teeth don't fall out properly and they need treatment to remove them.
Dental insurance will often cover these types of dental problems. All LV= pet policies include treatment due to an injury and to remove milk teeth after 16 weeks of age if the pet was insured before they were 16 weeks old. LV= Lifetime policies will cover other dental treatment, as long as regular check-ups and preventative measures have been taken.
How can I prevent dental problems in my pet?
Brush their teeth
Good dental hygiene will help stop dental problems building up. Brushing your dog's teeth daily, with regular check-ups at the vet will help.
Brushing your cat's teeth regularly to stop the build up of tartar, starting when your cat is a kitten will get them used to you feeling around in their mouth.
Dental chews and toys
Another way to reduce plaque is to provide dental chews or toys for your dog or cat to chew. This helps keep their teeth clean. Long lasting chews are best, including rawhide chews and knucklebones for dogs.
If you think a change of diet may help your pet's oral health, speak to a vet. There are some foods on the market, like kibble, that claim to help keep teeth clean, but if your pet isn’t used to eating that type of food, then changing their diet may cause other problems.
Regular check ups
Just like us, dogs and cats benefit from regular dental check-ups. Your vet will be able to take a look at your pet's mouth and if necessary, scrape away any tartar that's built up. This helps prevent bacteria from any dental disease spreading around the body. Although check-ups aren't usually covered by your dental insurance, check your cover to make sure that other types of dental treatment are insured.
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