Is your pet’s breath anything but a bed of roses? A bad or foul smelling odor is not just unpleasant – it may also by symptomatic of an undiagnosed oral health problem like gum disease. Regular pet dentistry appointments are the best way to protect your pet’s oral health and reduce the risk for gingivitis, periodontal disease, bacterial infections and tooth loss.
3 At-Home Pet Dental Care Tips
Worried about your pet’s dental health? Keep reading to brush up on your pet dentistry knowledge and learn how to keep you pet healthy:
#1: Brush your pet’s teeth.
Good oral health is important at all stages of your pet’s life, and should start with puppy and kitten care. Once your pet has his permanent teeth, you should begin weekly brushings. Help your pet acclimate to the brushings by putting a small dollop of toothpaste on your finger and running it over your pet’s gums. Once your pet is comfortable with this, you can progress to using a toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle; this is the best angle to remove plaque buildup and food debris from the gum line. Brush your pet’s teeth at least once per week.
#2: Choose dental-friendly food and treats.
Wet foods are more likely to stick to the gum line or become caught in the teeth. If your pet eats a wet food diet, you may need to brush more regularly than a dry food diet. Stickier treats like Kong peanut butter are more likely to become stuck along the gum line. Choose natural pet dental health treats that freshen breath and help “floss” the teeth by removing plaque. Remember, however, that even the best dental treats are no substitute for regular brushing.
#3: Schedule regular cleanings at an animal hospital.
While at-home care provides a strong foundation for your pet’s oral health, only a professional cleaning can remove tartar. Our veterinarian recommends annual cleanings at our Burlington animal hospital. During a cleaning we will scrape away tartar from the gum line and polish your pet’s teeth.
Do you include pet dentistry as part of your puppy and kitten care?