Brush the Day Away!

In case you have not heard us say it before, dental care for your pets is essential for their overall health and well-being! Just like it is important for you to get your teeth checked at least once a year, it is the same for your pets. Why is this so important? Dental disease affects up to 80% of animals three years and older. These diseases, though harmful in their own right, can also lead to other serious health issues. Preventative care of your pet’s teeth can prevent high dental procedure costs in the future.

Do you know how many teeth your furry friend has? By the time your cats have their permanent teeth in; they will have 30 chompers that you need to help them keep healthy. For dogs, it is a whomping 42! That is a lot of pearly whites to help keep clean!

The earlier you start dental care, the easier it will be for you and your pet. Starting at a young age, owners should get their pets used to the touching and cleaning of their mouths. Over time, it will become easier and easier, until eventually it will become routine. When your pets are young, you will want to make sure that their deciduous teeth have come out and their permanent ones have come in with no problems. Your veterinarian will also check for any bite issues or jaw issues.

Once your pets have their permanent teeth, it is important for you to help keep them healthy and clean. There are many ways that you can do this. Talk to your veterinarian, who will be more than happy to give you a lesson in canine or feline teeth brushing. Be sure to use toothpaste that is specifically made for dogs and cats. DO NOT use human toothpaste! The ultimate goal is to be brushing their teeth every day (or at least every other day). Though this may not be easy at first, and they will probably resist, repetition will get them used to it.

You can also talk to your veterinarian about specific foods that can help maintain healthy teeth and gums. There are a variety of dental treats that you can use. Again, speak to your veterinarian and they can point you in the right direction.

If your pet is older and you have not been keeping up a good dental regimen with them, do not worry. It is not too late to start! The first thing you want to look for is the presence of any dental issues. Many times, bad breath can be an indicator that there may be a problem. Drooling, discomfort when eating (or not eating all together) and reluctance to play with toys can all be signs that your pet has a dental issue.

The best thing to do is book a dental exam and cleaning with your veterinarian. At the appointment, you can discuss specific ways to help ease your cat or dog into daily brushing and other maintenance. In the end, it is all about being proactive. The more you do by the way of maintenance, the less you will have to worry about dental disease causing pain and health problems for your pet!

By on February 7th, 2014 in Pet Care