February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so this a good time to remember that dogs and cats benefit from good dental care, just as people do. Good dental habits begin early and include a healthy diet (preferably a dental diet approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council), regular tooth brushing, an annual physical examination to detect minor dental problems before they progress to major ones, and professional teeth cleaning when needed. We care so much about your pet’s health, that we are giving away a free dental cleaning as part of dental month. Just login to our Facebook page and join the contest. Simply post a picture of your pet’s “best smile” to enter. The winner is the picture with the most votes. Second- and third-place winners get a three-month supply of Hill’s Healthy Advantage dog or cat food courtesey of Hills Pet Nutrition. Full contest details are available on our Facebook page. The benefits of good dental care include more than sweet-smelling breath. Healthy teeth and gums decrease the risk of heart, kidney and liver disease, because bacteria in diseased gums travel through the bloodstream to these organs. In addition, good dental health reduces the need for tooth extractions. Signs of dental disease include bad breath, gingivitis (a red gum line which may actually shrink back from its usual position), loose teeth and decreased interest in food that requires chewing. Some pets even become lethargic as their mouths become more painful.