5 Ways to Keep your Pet’s Teeth Healthy for Life [Sponsored Content]
Dental care can often be ignored in pets, but it’s important to properly care for them as untreated plaque and tartar buildup can quickly progress to painful periodontal disease. The bacteria associated with oral disease has even been shown to spread to organs, causing long-term illnesses that can tax your pet’s immune system and decrease their quality of life. Follow the five steps listed to keep your pet’s smile sparkling for years to come!
1 Beware of bad breath!
If you can’t stand the smell of your pet’s breath, don’t ignore it. Mouth odor is a potential sign of periodontal disease and other oral diseases. Other signs to watch for are bleeding gums, loose or missing teeth, pawing at the mouth, and reluctance or discomfort when chewing.
2 Brushing is best
Brushing your pet’s teeth can prove to be challenging, but with proper training and lots of patience, it can become a bonding experience. It’s possible it will take a few weeks to get your fur baby warmed up, so start slowly. Human toothpaste is not safe for pets, so use a pet friendly version. If you think your pet might bite when you try brushing, consider the alternatives below.
3 Offer dental toys, treats, and foods
These methods may not be as effective as brushing, but they are still of value. There are toys, treats, and foods specifically geared towards preventing tartar and calculus buildup and helping maintain gum health. Ask your veterinarian for their favorites!
4 Set up a dental exam
Your veterinarian will evaluate your pet’s mouth for disease and make recommendations according to their findings. During the exam, the vet will be on the lookout for redness, bleeding, inflammation, tartar and calculus, any broken or missing teeth, and any growths in the mouth.
5 Schedule a proper dental cleaning
In order to thoroughly clean your pet’s teeth, anesthesia is required. Anesthesia can be scary, especially in older pets, but there are safety measures that should be taken. Your vet may recommend some prescreening tests, as well as intravenous fluids, dental radiographs, pain medication, and antibiotic therapy. Some pets simply need their teeth scaled, polished, and cleaned under the gumlines; others may need more extensive work such as extractions of diseased teeth. Based on your pet’s needs, your veterinarian can workup an individualized care plan so you can do what is best for your furry friend!
For more information on this subject or to find out more about pet dental health, contact
Post information by Veterinary Healing Centers, Brad Cahoon, D.V.M.