We don’t have to tell you how important it is to go to the dentist – after all, it’s recommended that people go for routine dental checkups twice a year! So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that oral hygiene is also important for your furry family member.
Your pet’s oral health has a major impact on his physical health, and the costs associated with veterinary dental care can be just as expensive as your own dental visits. For these reasons, we recommend adding dental pet insurance to your pet insurance policy. A dental pet insurance policy can help you manage the costs of both emergency and routine dental services for your dog or cat, giving you peace of mind and saving you money in the long run.
If you’re wondering whether dental pet insurance is right for you and your pet, review these five reasons why you should get it. From protecting your cat or dog’s overall health to ensuring fun play for the rest of their lives, pet dental insurance is a powerful tool to have on hand.
1. Unexpected Vet Costs Happen at Any Age
As pet owners, we know that we could end up at the vet at any point with concerns over our pet’s physical health. However, you may not realize that some of these health issues could be caused by your pet’s poor dental hygiene. You could be facing high vet bills from a lack of providing your dog or cat with routine dental care. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reported that 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have oral disease by the age of three. And not all oral issues are caused by a lack of teeth brushing; some problems present themselves because of trauma your pet experiences as they live, play, and explore the world around them with their mouths.
Here, we’ve provided some of the most common dental problems that dogs and cats experience that could cause emergency vet visits down the road (and that dental pet insurance may help cover the cost of):
This is a bacterial infection of your pet’s dental tissue, which can affect the gums, ligaments, and bones in your pet’s jaw. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss if it is left untreated. Two forms of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis causes the gums to swell, turn red or purple, and bleed. It can also cause bad breath, which most pet owners may notice during these early stages. At this stage of gum disease, the ligaments and bones are not affected and preventative treatment can still be taken. However, if regular dental care isn’t practiced at home or in the vet, gingivitis could lead to periodontitis, which causes tissue damage in the gums, ligaments, and bones. Unfortunately, periodontitis is irreversible, so the vet will often perform tooth extractions on top of professional cleaning to treat it.
Gingivitis is often diagnosed around age two, and periodontitis is commonly diagnosed around four to six years old.
Also known as pulpitis, this disease occurs when the tooth’s living tissue is damaged or infected. It typically presents itself when your pet’s jaw is injured or fractured, such as in a car accident, when it plays aggressively, or when it chews on hard objects like antlers or fences (which is why dental insurance for dogs is especially important since they are more prone to chewing on these objects when they are stressed or bored). It also occurs when there’s an enamel abnormality or tooth decay. Treatment may require a tooth extraction or root canal.
Facial and Jaw Trauma
No matter your pet’s age, they could experience accidents or trauma that fractures the jaw, which could cause periodontitis or cancer. This trauma could be caused by car accidents, fights with dogs, aggressive chewing, or falls. Treatment could vary from wound care to root canals to crown placements.
Even if you believe your dog or cat is too young for vet dental care, the evidence shows that maintaining good oral hygiene at a young age is essential to avoiding expensive vet treatment bills later in your pet’s life. Additionally, you never know when an accident may happen. It’s best to be prepared with dental pet insurance so you can afford treatment when your pet needs it most.
Did you know that a tooth extraction procedure could cost up to $1,000, while treatment for gum disease averages around $768 for cats and $519 for dogs. Keep in control of your finances with the help of dental pet insurance.
2. Dental Disease Can Be Life-Threatening
The bacteria that we discussed above that can lead to gum disease can also enter your pet’s bloodstream. In serious cases, it will then be carried to his organs, where infections will develop. Most commonly, the organs affected by oral diseases are the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. These are, of course, vital organs, and infections here could decrease your pet’s quality of life and may even lead to death. Having pet insurance with a dental policy could make taking your pet to veterinary dental cleanings affordable.
And while these dental cleaning services may seem like small measures, they are best for preventing dental disease and their potentially life-threatening consequences. Dental pet insurance empowers pet owners to keep up with these routine visits and improves the quality of life for their furry family members.
3. Nobody Likes Bad Breath
Nobody enjoys sitting down to a family dinner only to have the dog encasing them in a stinky cloud. And no one wants to get onto the floor to play with a cat with rank breath.
Your pet may have bad breath due to gum disease, an imbalanced gut or oral microbiome, diabetes, liver disease, or kidney disease. To detect these causes early on, you’ll need to take your pet in for annual vet exams and professional teeth cleanings. If your dog or cat suffers from a disorder that causes bad breath, a dental pet insurance policy can help you cover the costs of treatment.
Regular dental cleanings will make your pet feel great and your family will be much more apt to let your dog or cat give them kisses with fresher breath.
4. Their Teeth Impact Their Diet
It’s instinctual for a dog or cat to hide their pain from their owners. If your pet is suffering from dental disease, you may not realize it until they start to lose weight or form unusual eating habits. Some pets will refuse to eat if their teeth hurt, while others will avoid eating on the side of their mouth that is causing pain. Some animals may even swallow their food whole without chewing, especially if it’s dry kibble. Over time, these poor eating habits could weaken your pet’s immune system, which would prevent them from fighting further infection or diseases.
If your cat or dog shows signs of having difficulty eating, contact your veterinary office right away. In the event that something was to happen that affects your pet’s diet, you’ll want to have a dental pet insurance policy available so your pet can get the treatment she needs.
And in case your pet is hiding their pain, having regular dental checkups is the best way to help get them the help they need. Even the most vigilant pet parent may miss these small signs or not see their pet’s oral health declining (especially if it’s a problem in the back of their mouth). Vets are trained to check for signs of dental disease and give you the tips and resources you need to be proactive about protecting your pet’s oral health.
5. Their Teeth Impact Their Play
Dental diseases, jaw fractures, and broken teeth can affect your pet’s behavior. For example, if you’re wondering why your bouncy, happy dog turned into an aggressive dog, it could be because they’re experiencing pain in their mouth. Likewise, if your cat is depressed and rarely plays anymore, there could be underlying dental issues.
Many pet owners have reported a dramatic change in their pet’s behavior after their vet performs dental procedures. Their pets were more friendly and playful. Protect your furry friend’s personality and happiness by getting a dental pet insurance plan so you can afford to have your vet keep your pet’s oral bacteria at bay.
Fighting Dental Disease with Dental Pet Insurance Policies
It has become a habit among pet owners to not care for their pet’s oral hygiene, mostly because much of the emphasis on pet insurance is geared toward physicals and vaccinations included with routine healthcare.
Unfortunately, the sad reality is that this means most dogs and cats are suffering from dental diseases and pet owners don’t even realize it. Because you never know when your furry friend will need to visit the vet due to complications with their teeth, gums, or jaw, you’ll want to have a dental pet insurance policy to make sure you can pay for the treatment your dog or cat will need to be happy again.
Choose an affordable dental pet insurance plan with Odie Pet Insurance. Our plans cover dental diseases and fractures, and our supplemental Routine Care Plus plan covers teeth cleaning so you can properly care for your pet in an affordable, and convenient way.
Easily submit your information today and receive a free quote for Odie Pet Insurance to see how easy and affordable it can be to provide your pet with the quality healthcare coverage they deserve.
You can read more about pet insurance and dental care here.