Updated: Oct 1
Taking care of your pet's teeth will extend your pet's life by as much as 5 years. Imagine if you never brushed, flossed, or saw the dentist. The bacteria in your mouth would rot your teeth and gums down to the bone. It's painful, and it can cause secondary diseases of other organs where the infection can spread. It's simply no different for our pets.
We understand that brushing and flossing is a chore. And asking you to brush your pet's teeth every day might even seem unrealistic. So, we have some suggestions to keep your pet's teeth clean and prevent dental disease without asking you to quit your day job.
Brushing your pet's Teeth
The key to introducing teeth brushing to your pet is to use rewards and to go slowly.
1. First start by introducing the toothpaste to your pet by letting them lick it off your finger. Be sure to use only veterinary toothpaste. 2. After a few days, allow your pet to lick the toothpaste off the bristles of a soft toothbrush or finger brush. Don’t try to introduce brushing yet! We just want your pet to associate the toothbrush and toothpaste with a yummy reward. 3. After a few more days, begin brushing the teeth in small motions while allowing your pet to lick some toothpaste off the brush. Brush only the outsides of the teeth, allowing one pass over the left, front, and right sections of the bottom and top teeth. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at least 4 times a week.
Regular Exams and Cleanings
Your Veterinarian will tell you when your pet needs a professional cleaning. We offer non-anesthetic cleanings for pets that do not yet have severe dental disease. Just like us, cleaning your pet's teeth twice a year can prevent the progression of periodontitis, or dental disease.
Approved dental chews and Treats
The Veterinary Oral Health Council gives its seal of approval to products that have undergone studies to prove they slow the progression of plaque and tartar in pets.
Milk Bone Brushing Chews, which studies have shown can replace brushing twice a week if given daily. (these treats are formulated for dogs only)
Kong Toys¸ which can be filled with their specially made cheese, or regular peanut butter. Kongs work best as a dental chew for dogs.
Tartar Shield Treats, which are pre-digested rawhide chews. These are available online in both dog and cat formulas.
Chews to avoid: Nyla Bones, Antlers, Bones. These can cause damage to the teeth and gastrointestinal upset. Always monitor your pet while they enjoy their treats, and keep calories in mind when adding treats of any kind to your pet’s diet.