The Scoop

Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health Month and a great time to evaluate what you are doing to help your companion keep their teeth strong and healthy. Dental health is just as important for dogs, cats, and small animals as it is for humans—some might argue that it’s even MORE important for them. After all, it’s relatively easy for us to have cavities in our teeth filled, but not so easy for pets.

Here are some key facts about small animal dental health to start off this month of learning more about our pet’s teeth and the role we can have in keep them healthy for a long, happy, and healthy life:

  • In herbivorous small pets (rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and degus) all of their teeth grow continuously throughout their lives.
  • In omnivorous small pets, such as rats, mice, and gerbils, only their large front incisors continuously grow.
  • As carnivorous animals, ferrets and hedgehogs have canine teeth which set them apart from most other small animals. 
  • Rodents’ teeth are actually supposed to be yellow to orange in color. White teeth are a sign that something could be wrong, and should probably be examined by a vet.
  • Bad breath is not normal for most pets (not even dogs) and can be a sign of an oral disease or infection.

If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s teeth, talk to your vet. Though you may not visit the dentist regularly yourself (we’re all a little guilty of stretching the time between visits occasionally) it’s very important to take your pet to the vet if you notice any difficulty eating, broken or missing teeth, injuries in or around the mouth, or other oral and health issues.