Don’t overlook dental care for your pet. A healthy mouth is just as important as a health body, and you do a disservice to your pet’s overall health if you ignore such an important part of his body. Here are some ways you can incorporate dental care in your pet’s daily routine.
Get Advice and Demonstrations from Your Veterinarian
If you are not already taking your pet in for routine dental cleanings, start now. While you’re there, ask your vet to show you the right techniques for your particular pet. Your vet can also provide advice on the most appropriate toothpastes and brushes, based on your furry friend’s dental health and temperament.
Slowly Introduce Dental Care to Your Pet
Starting an at-home dental care program is best when your pet is young. This way, he’s trained early on to be more amenable to fingers and brushes in his mouth. The last thing you want is to cause unnecessary harm to his mouth, or for him to bite you! If you don’t know how he’ll react, go slowly.
Use a small amount of toothpaste on your finger in place of a brush. When he becomes more comfortable, you can move on to using brushes. Brush from the gums downward, and only focus on the outside of the teeth (the inner side of the teeth will already be cleansed by your pet’s saliva).
Use Chew Toys or Bones
Chew toys and bones that contain an anti-tartar ingredient are great for pets because they will clean your animal’s mouth without him even knowing it! If your dog is unwilling to chew, you can smear peanut butter on the toy to make it more alluring. Be sure to monitor your pet while he’s chewing, many dogs will bite and swallow pieces of the toy and this can lead to some serious digestive issues.
Implement Foods and Treats that Promote a Healthy Mouth
You can find many biscuits on the market labeled “tartar control” that are great for keeping your pet’s teeth clean. For dogs, there are also many dried meat treats out there that will clean his teeth through chewing. These treats come in a wide array of favors and pieces, so even if your dog is a bit picky he is sure to find one he loves.
Brushing your pet’s teeth every day is ideal, but not necessary a realistic solution given our busy schedules. We are happy to give you additional options that still promote good dental health in your pet, and if you can manage a brushing once or twice a week, even better! Even using the best practices, dental health issues can still occur, but if you stay vigilant of any potential concerns and take your pet in for routine professional cleanings at the vet, you can catch signs of trouble before they progress.