Dental care is as important for your pet as it is for you! Maybe even more so, because well over 80 percent of pets over the age of 5 have some significant level of periodontal disease, which can lead to serious consequences - including heart disease. My sweet cat Benjamin had a dental cleaning last year, and it has done wonders for his breath (nothing's worse then bad cat breath!) and his health! In addition to a good dental care regimen, you can help keep your pet's mouth and teeth healthy by feeding him high-quality food, and by providing him with safe chew toys that help clean his teeth and gums. Here is some great tips for At-home care from Banfield Pet Hospital.

At Home Dental Carecan include the use of water additives, tooth brushing with specially-formulated toothpaste for pets, dental chew toys, kibble designed to clear and prevent the build-up of plaque and paying special attention to any changes your pet exhibits. As a pet owner, you should examine your pet's mouth at least once a week to look for signs of swollen or bleeding gums (gingivitis), brown buildup on teeth (plaque/tartar) and abnormal lumps, bumps or swellings. Be sure to examine the back teeth (molars) by lifting the lip to expose the outside surfaces of the teeth. Also, observe the color of your pet's gums. The gums should be shiny and pink -- not white or dark red.