Illinois Emphasizes Pet Dental Health in April: Veterinarians Advocate for Preventive Care

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Springfield, IL – April shines as Dental Care Awareness Month for Pets in Illinois, spotlighting the critical importance of dental health in animals’ overall well-being. Spearheaded by the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA), the month-long campaign garners support from veterinarians and veterinary technicians statewide, emphasizing preventive dental care practices for pets.

Dr. Nicole Johnson, DVM, President of the ISVMA and a practitioner at Pekin Animal Hospital in Pekin, stresses the parallel between human and pet dental hygiene. She encourages pet owners to adopt a daily routine of brushing their pets’ teeth with pet-safe toothpaste, highlighting the potential for dental disease to impact not just oral health but also the functioning of vital organs. Johnson notes the dangers of untreated dental issues, such as tooth loss, cavities, and gum disease, advocating for regular care to prevent these outcomes.

To further ensure pet dental health, Johnson advises against offering pets hard objects as chew toys, suggesting a simple test for suitability: if an item can’t be indented with a fingernail, it’s too hard for a pet’s teeth.

Debbie Lakamp, Executive Director of the ISVMA, views Dental Care Awareness Month as an essential initiative for educating pet owners on the significance of dental care as part of a comprehensive approach to pet health. The ISVMA’s membership, spanning the entire state of Illinois, plays a pivotal role in advancing animal healthcare, focusing on areas such as nutrition, safety, and now, dental health.

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