Pet Dental Care

A majority of pet owners notice bad breath in their dog or cat and think this is a normal standard for their pets. Our job at Trusty Vet is to help educate you that your pet’s bad breath is NOT normal and that their dental health is closely linked to their overall health.

Did you know that by age 3, an astounding 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral or dental disease according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. Yes! You pet’s dental health is so important to veterinarians that they have developed a specific society to address issues with oral disease.

Most of this dental disease seems hidden to pet owners since the evidence is in the back part of the mouth at the rear teeth where dogs and cats crunch and chew their food. At nearly every visit by your dog or cat to Trusty Vet, the veterinarian will take a look at your pet’s mouth by parting his or her lips and pulling them backwards to visualize the back teeth to see if any tartar or gingivitis is present. It is something you can easily be taught to do so that you can keep a close eye on your pet’s dental health while at home.

- Dental calculus (tartar) is a hard matter that accumulates on your pet’s teeth below the gum lines and later adheres to the teeth. 

- Continual accumulation causes inflammation of the gums which is termed gingivitis or periodontal disease.

- Periodontal disease causes red, swollen and tender gums, receding gums, bleeding, pain and bad breath. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. 

- The mouth becomes a dangerous source of infection. 

- Untreated tooth and gum disease may allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the valves of the heart, the liver, the kidneys, and the lungs.  Additionally, dental disease can cause urinary tract infections and can make diabetes management difficult.

The solution to developed dental disease is to have your dog’s or cat’s teeth cleaned by your veterinarian while your pet is under anesthesia. This allows all surfaces of the teeth to be inspected and removal of tartar from under the gum line. The pet dental hygienist polishes your pet’s teeth with the same tool used by your dentist’s office. Trusty Vet is capable of performing simple tooth extractions should tooth loss be about to happen. Any extensive dental care that is needed would be referred to a more full service veterinary hospital.

Below is Dr. Bradshaw’s own dachshund, Sbisa’s before and after photos from a recent dental cleaning performed under anesthesia. The visual difference is amazing, but even more appreciated is the improvement in Sbisa’s bad breath.


To help control dental disease before it becomes a medical issue, you can provide at-home dental care for your dog or cat. Options include brushing your pet’s teeth, dental chews, oral rinses, prescription dental diets, and water additives. A member of the Trusty Vet team would be happy to demonstrate product options for you at your pet’s next visit.