PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – You wouldn’t go days without brushing your teeth or years without getting a dental checkup, right? Well, your pet shouldn’t either.

Angie’s List recently detailed how dental care is just as important for your furry friend.

Earlier this year, Sandi Lehr took her 9-year-old dog, Harvey, to the vet for his annual pet cleaning. She said he’s an older dog, and wants to make sure he stays healthy.

“Since he’s a senior dog, he really needs to have his teeth cleaned every year because there will be a little tartar on his teeth,” Lehr said.

Every pet can get buildup of plague and gingivitis. These dental problems can grow at different rates, and if they are left untreated, can cause problems for your pet.

“If pets develop painful dental conditions or inflammatory conditions like periodontal disease, it can affect their internal organ function. It definitely affects their kidneys and potentially their heart and liver as well,” Dr. Matthew Lemmons said.

A professional cleaning involves scraping the plague and tartar along the gum line.

The procedure involves anesthesia and x-rays, which can cost from $200 to $800 depending on the amount of work that needs to be done.

“The best way to keep the cost down for a professional teeth cleaning is an ounce of prevention. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth yourself can help avoid the buildup and any additional problems that may lead you to having the professional cleaning done,” Angie Hicks from Angie’s List said.

You can also give your pet certain foods to protect its teeth.

“I’ve been told to do it, but I don’t do it all the time. He’s not too pleased with it, so I just watch as much as I can and see that. And he also has a dental supplement with his food,” Lehr said.

If you notice your pet has excessively bad breath, missing teeth, or red gums, call your vet for an appointment.


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