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February is National Dental Health Month, a time when the Pet industry as a whole turns its focus to driving awareness of animals’ dental health needs.  As an independent pet retailer, this is a great time for you to highlight the importance of pet dental health to your customers. National Pet Dental Health Month provides an opportunity to educate pet owners on the benefits of maintaining their furry friend’s oral hygiene. Many pet owners may not be fully aware of the impact that poor dental health can have on their pet’s overall well-being, and helping to educate them can build a strong connection and drive customer loyalty. 

Why does dental care matter? 

Dental health is a crucial aspect of a dog’s overall health. Neglecting a pet’s oral hygiene can lead to a variety of health issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even heart disease. Pet owners need to be aware that preventing these issues is much easier and less expensive than treating them once they have developed.  In addition to steps pet owners can take at home, it is essential to ensure that pets receive regular dental checkups and cleanings. 

Signs of Dental Problems 

If any of these symptoms arise occur, it may be a sign that something is amiss in a pet’s oral care.  

  • Bad breath: Pets with dental health issues often have chronic bad breath, which can be a sign of plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. 
  • Yellow or brown teeth: Dental plaque and tartar buildup can cause a yellow or brown discoloration of the teeth, which is a sign of poor oral hygiene. 
  • Red or swollen gums: Inflammation and infection of the gums (gingivitis) can cause redness, swelling, and bleeding. 
  • Loss of appetite: Pets with dental pain may have difficulty eating and may lose their appetite. 
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth: Pets with dental pain or tooth damage may drool excessively or have difficulty holding onto food while eating. 
  • Pawing at the face or mouth: Pets with dental pain may paw at their face or mouth to alleviate discomfort. 
  • Loose or missing teeth: Pets with advanced dental disease may have loose or missing teeth because of periodontal disease or tooth decay. 
  • Changes in behavior: Pets with dental issues may become more irritable or have changes in their behavior as a result of pain or discomfort. 


How to Prevent Dental Problems 

Regular dental checkups at the vet are a good way to make sure a dog or cats teeth are in order, along with cleanings and regular brushing. Pet owners can talk to their vet if they are concerned about their pet’s oral health, and regular dental screenings can be supplemented with at home items. Dental treats and toys are a great way to help keep a pet’s teeth strong and breath fresh at home. 


Great Treats and Chews to Promote Dog Dental Health 

Whimzees by Wellness are made from natural ingredients and are shaped to help remove plaque and tartar from the teeth as the dog chews. They are also highly digestible and contain no artificial colors or preservatives. In addition, Whimzees chews are also gluten-free. 


Greenies are clinically proven to help control plaque and tartar buildup, freshen breath and provide natural sources of antioxidants. Greenies dental chews are made with natural ingredients, are highly digestible and have a unique texture that helps clean teeth as the dog chews. They are also available in different sizes to fit dogs of all breeds.                                                                            

Ark Naturals Breath-less Chewable Brushless Toothpaste is a chewable dental treat that helps to promote dental health in dogs. It is formulated with natural ingredients such as enzymes, alfalfa, and barley grass that work together to help break down plaque and tartar, freshen breath and support overall dental health. These treats are also fortified with vitamins and minerals to support overall pet health. Ark Natural chews are a great alternative for pet owners who have a hard time brushing their dog’s teeth.                                                                                                                


Great Dog Toys to Promote Dental Health 

Playology dog toys are a great solution for pet owners who want to promote dental health in their dogs while also addressing the issue of dog obesity. These toys are TREAT-FREE and made with a unique blend of rubber and nylon infused with 100% natural scents derived from actual food, providing a tasty and engaging experience for dogs without adding empty calories. The unique textures and shapes of these toys help to clean teeth, scrape plaque and tartar, and massage gums as the dog chews. Playology toys come in different sizes and shapes to cater to different dog breeds and sizes. 


Kong toys are made of durable rubber and are designed to be chewed and gnawed on, which helps to clean teeth and massage gums. The unique shape and texture of KONG toys also helps to scrape and remove plaque and tartar as the dog chews. These toys also come in different flavors and textures which can attract the dog to chew on them more. KONG toys can also be filled with treats or peanut butter to make them more appealing and provide an added challenge for dogs to chew and lick out the treat, further promoting dental health. 



Outward Hound toys are a brand of interactive dog toys that can help promote dental health in dogs. These toys are designed to stimulate a dog’s mind and body through play, while also promoting oral health. Outward Hound toys come in different shapes, sizes and textures that can help to clean teeth, scrape plaque and tartar, and massage gums. Some of the toys are designed with ridges, nubs and bristles that can help to clean teeth and massage gums as the dog plays. Other toys can be filled with treats or kibble, providing an added challenge for dogs to chew and lick out the treats, promoting dental health.



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