The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has coined February as Pet Dental Health Month, which gives veterinary clinics an excellent opportunity to launch a year-round dental health campaign that helps remind and encourage pet owners to maintain their furry friend’s dental hygiene. Don’t know how to prep your practice for a health initiative like this? No worries. Outlined below are some easy and actionable steps to set up a successful Pet Dental Health Month at your practice.
As part of a clinic’s dental health awareness and clinical program, educating pet parents about the importance of maintaining good oral health should be focus number one. Ensure your clinical and non-clinical teams are aligned on the importance of a pet’s dental health, so they can effectively communicate vital facts and information to the pet parents.
Second, empower your pet parents to take action. A dental health campaign should outline the signs of poor dental health including bad breath, discolored teeth, or more ominous signs like abnormal chewing, drooling or swelling around the mouth. Remind pet parents that pets can’t take care of their teeth alone and that, like humans, regular check-ups and brushing are required. Encourage owners to brush their pet’s teeth regularly (daily if possible) as that’s the most effective thing they can do to keep them healthy. Pro tip: make sure the owners are aware that special toothpaste approved for pets should be used.
Prep Dental Diets and Treats
Dental diets and treats are easy to prepare and send home after dental appointments during the Dental Health Awareness program in February, as well as the remainder of the year. By offering pet parents these small packages post-appointment, you provide them with necessary tools to help improve their pet’s teeth and gum health and to ensure their pets live long, healthy lives.
There are plenty of dental treats on the market. Additionally, there are dental diets that encourage thorough chewing and a variety of specialized chew toys/water additives that can help reduce plaque and tartar build-up. As a veterinarian and/or veterinary practice, continue to review research from trusted organizations such as the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) in order to provide the best recommendations to pet parents and their furry family members.
Offer Free Oral Examinations in February
Get the ball rolling! Offering free oral examinations by your technicians during February to identify dental disease, further educate pet parents, and schedule cleanings is a great way to kick off an annual dental care initiative. This level of promotion and engagement demonstrates your practice’s full capability of subspecialty dental care.
From your friends at AmeriVet Veterinary Partners. Learn more at Amerivet.com.