I know, I know… Brushing your pet’s teeth isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.
But hear me out…
This is important stuff. And we can make it as painless as possible for you!
Step One: Start young.
Dental health for our pets is a lifelong process.
You wouldn’t START going to the dentist when you need dentures, right?
Exactly! So, you need to start paying attention to your pet’s teeth at an early age to prevent issues when they get old and gray.
Did you know? A shocking majority of pets have periodontal disease by the time they’re THREE? It’s true!
So, what great habits can you pick up to keep your pet’s dental health in tip-top shape?
- Know what to look for. Stanky breath, plaque buildup, red/swollen gums–these are all signs that your pet’s dental health needs attention. Being proactive about these signs will help you catch something before it becomes an issue. The more often you check, the more it will become the norm for your pet.
- Brush their teeth! Consult with your veterinarian on how to safely introduce brushing into your routine. Brushing can really help to break up the plaque that can’t wait until their next dental cleaning.
- Schedule regular cleanings. Every pet will vary on the frequency needed for professional cleaning. Starting dental cleanings at an early age can prevent tooth decay. Plus, you are less likely to end up with a toothless wonder once your pet hits their senior years. Double plus, dental extractions can get pricey, so take care of those teeth early and avoid having to get them yanked.
- Let your dog chew. Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs anyway, and it’s a great way to help them break up some of that plaque. This, coupled with brushing, will keep those chompers as clean as possible. For more information on appropriate dental chews, go to vohc.org and let the veterinary dental experts show you what they recommend!
- Consider their diet. If plaque buildup is of extra concern, speak with your veterinarian about potential diet changes. They can help you navigate food choices, wet vs. dry foods, etc. Every pet will have a different ideal game plan.
Dental health for pets is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. Bookmark this blog post as your own personal reminder. Set a brushing alert on your Google calendar. Do whatever it takes to make sure you give your pet’s dental health the time and attention it deserves!
As always, Temple Heights Animal Hospital is standing by to answer any questions you might have on this topic. Contact us here for more information or to schedule your pet’s next dental spruce up.