The Terrible Consequences Of Ignoring "Dog Breath"

All pet owners know that regular veterinary care is important to keep their pets healthy. But what many don’t know about is the importance of annual dental care for their pets. An estimated 80% of dogs and cats have periodontal disease – a decaying of the gum tissue that exposes pockets around the base and roots of teeth where bacteria can build up, causing infections. As the periodontal disease worsens, so do the negative effects on your pets. These harmful consequences can include tooth decay, heart disease, and liver and kidney disease.

The first time many pet owners may think about their pet’s oral health is when they notice bad breath, but often by that point, the disease has advanced enough to warrant extraction of some teeth. Waiting to provide dental care for your pet can also cause them to live with oral pain, even if they don’t show you.

The American Veterinary Dental College says “most pets with painful dental conditions do not show clinical signs that are obvious to the owner, but this does not mean that they are not feeling pain.” Dogs and cats have the instinct to hide signs of illness or weakness, which makes proactively seeking dental care even more important.

A shift in veterinary medicine within the past 15 years has promoted the benefits of annual dental cleanings starting at a young age for pets. Veterinary clinics like Magnolia Animal Dentistry provide dental cleanings at an affordable price and encourage pet owners to start early.

“I have seen the wonderful health effects of annual dental care realized in our furry patients,” says Dr. Jacqueline Myers, owner of Magnolia Animal Dentistry. “When their pets get older and stay healthy our clients see the benefit of starting dental cleanings for their pets at 1-2 years of age. Or, if they’re starting later in their pet’s life and some teeth must be extracted, they see how their pet’s quality of life improves afterward and how we can help moving forward.”

Magnolia Animal Dentistry has two locations in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, both with the same mission of making dental care for animals affordable and part of their annual healthcare routine. Their dental cleaning package is $229 and includes gas anesthesia, physical and oral examinations, dental x-rays of all of the teeth, a nail trim, and a one-on-one consultation with the veterinarian. Further dental care needs to result from a thorough exam and includes an individualized treatment plan.

“If your pet hasn’t had a dental cleaning in more than 12 months, please don’t continue to put it off,” says Dr. Myers. “We’re here to help, and your pet will thank you for it.”

Magnolia Animal Dentistry Clinics: 10194 SW Park Way, Portland, OR, 503-621-9107; and 615 SE Chkalov Dr. Ste. 14., Vancouver, WA,360-859-3790;