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A Reminder to Pet Owners: Brush Your Pet's Teeth

For us humans, "cleanliness is next to Godliness" isn't it? That is why, brushing our teeth is essential to us as breathing. We desire to have strong and pearly white teeth as well as clean and fresh breath. But what most of us do not know, our favorite animal friends also need some level of dental care and attention just as we do. Aside from spending a lot of time walking and grooming their dogs and cats, pet owners should actually consider giving serious thought to brushing their pets' teeth.

The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), the largest state veterinary medical association in the United States, reports that lack of attention given to dogs and cats' oral health may cause gingivitis and periodontal disease, which may eventually lead to major health issues.

Dental diseases are widespread in dogs and cats. In fact, the American Veterinary Dental Society, an international organization of veterinary dental professionals, says that more than 85 percent of dogs and cats already show signs of oral disease by age four. Gingivitis and periodontal disease, when ignored, can lead to tooth decay, bad breath, bleeding gums and tooth loss. Meanwhile, bacteria from periodontal disease can damage the pet's bloodstream, organs and the nervous system. Worse, if they are not treated immediately, they can even cause death.

This February, in celebration of the "National Pet Dental Health Month" in the United States, the CVMA calls for pet owners to take simple oral care steps for their pets. It encourages them to practice regular brushing at home; a special toothbrush and toothpaste are highly recommended. Some pet-friendly products available in the market are Saint Francis Cinnamon and Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste , Aristopet's Oral Hygiene Kit, Mavlab Dental Spray Gel, and Petshed's Cotton Chewy toys that help pets effectively clean their teeth. These and other similar dental care products can be ordered online through www.petshed.com.

In addition to regular brushing, it is also important to seek regular and professional dental care from veterinarians.

Warning signs that tell if your pets are infected with oral disease include: bad breath; tartar buildup on the teeth; swollen or bleeding gums; fractured or abscessed teeth; and change in eating habits. If your pets show any of these symptoms, consult your veterinarian immediately.