Keep your pets happy and healthy with these dental care tips

Sponsored by VCA Hawaii

When it comes to our pets, it’s important to give them the best dental care possible to keep them healthy. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so HI Now host Kainoa Carlson spoke with Dr. Ryan Casuga from VCA University Animal Hospital to get some tips about pet dental care and to get some answers to other commonly asked questions.

When it comes to the first signs of dental disease, Dr. Casuga says there are a few things to look out for.

“If their breath smells really bad, you can peel their lips back and take a peek and see if there’s a good amount of dental tartar built up onto their teeth,” Dr. Casuga explains. “You can also look at their gum line to see if there’s any indication of inflammation or severe redness.”

In more severe cases where the dental disease is more progressed, Dr. Casuga says pets might drop their food or have a hard time holding onto it. They may also have a hard time chewing or even begin to lose weight because they’re having a hard time eating due to dental issues.

Dr. Casuga recommends getting dental X-rays for your pet at least once a year. However, teeth brushing is the most basic thing you can do at home to protect your furry friend’s teeth. Dr. Casuga says it’s good to do at least a few times a week, but every day is best.

“Just like us, you know, we go to the dentist every six months. It’s just good practice to make sure that in the long run you don’t have any need for extractions,” he adds.

About VCA Hawaii:

VCA Hawaii strives to provide the very best in medical care, and the hospitals provide a full range of general, surgical and specialized care. This is how VCA Hawaii veterinarians would treat their own pets, and it offers nothing less than that to you and your pet. VCA Hawaii understands your pets are a big part of your family and will be there for you every step of the way when it comes to your pets’ health.

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