February is National Dental Health Month for Pets

MINNEAPOLIS – The month of February is National Pet Dental Health Month and doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners are encouraging pet parents to talk to their family veterinarians about helping their pets practice good dental hygiene.

“We need to get out of the habit of waiting to treat problems once they occur,” said Dr. Donnell Hansen, a board-certified veterinary dentist and oral surgeon with BluePearl. “Instead, people should focus on preventing problems, which means less expensive procedures and less pain for your furry friends.”

According to, over 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats will show signs of dental disease by the time they are 3 years old.

Ideally, BluePearl dentists recommend for pets to have an oral exam that includes dental X-rays at least once a year. Additionally, regular daily brushing is recommended.

Hansen says the same rules apply for pets as they do for people. Diabetes, inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases can all be exacerbated by dental disease.

More importantly, local pain and infection are significant with dental diseases, though most pets will not show signs of oral pain. Instead, it isn’t until after treatment that most owners will notice a significant difference in their pet’s behavior.

While most signs are not recognizable until it’s too late, symptoms of dental problems can include bad breath, brown teeth, pawing or rubbing at the face and mouth, swollen or red gums, or hesitation to eat hard foods.

“If you are ever in doubt of, or questioning your pet’s health, make sure you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible,” Hansen said.

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
BluePearl Veterinary Partners employs more than 1,700 people including more than 450 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals offer referral-only, specialty care services and most offer 24-hour emergency care. BluePearl does not provide primary care. The company is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship programs. BluePearl also participates in clinical trials that investigate the effectiveness of new veterinary drugs and treatments, providing pet families access to cutting-edge medicine that is not yet commercially available. BluePearl is headquartered in Tampa, Fla.