Dental care is as important to your pet’s health as it is to your own, that is to say, without maintenance and care it could fall into disrepair, which could ultimately affect whole body health. There are many tip and tricks to maintain your pet’s dental health, but there are only a few pieces of advice that apply to the majority of house pets. This year, make your pet’s dental health a priority and ensure them a long happy life by following these simple guidelines for oral health.
Tip #1 – This is an exceedingly simple tip; just brush your pet’s teeth. Just like our own brushing habits that prevent food from building up and causing damage and decay, your pet’s teeth require the same basic treatment. It’s also important to note that Portland’s water supply does not contain fluoride which leaves your pets oral health in peril. Make up for a lack of fluoride with daily brushing (it’s okay to work up to daily brushing, we’re well aware of how squeamish pets can be, so take your time, build trust and before you know it, it will become a positive habit).
Tip #2 – Have some dental treats at the ready as opposed to other pet treats. There are several brands of dog and cat treats that boast tooth cleaning and breath freshening power – invest in these smart treats in addition to your everyday treats to keep your pet’s teeth fresh between brushings. Dental toys are another way to integrate dental health into your pet’s everyday routine. There are many chew toys that can scrub away plaque as well as keep your pet entertained for hours.
Tip #3 – Schedule annual dental exams with your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to identify any dental issues you may have missed and get can get in front of larger issues like cracked teeth, infected gums or other oral maladies. Often, anesthesia may be required for in depth exams, but your veterinarian can guide you through the process and assuage any fears you may have about animal anesthesia.
Tip #4 – Be on the lookout for particularly bad breath. Terrible breath is a warning sign of periodontal disease or another oral disease such as stomatitis. Bad breath is a big red flag, but you should also be on the lookout for other signs of poor dental health such as bleeding gums, yellow or brown teeth, pawing at the mouth, and loose or missing teeth.
Tip #5 – Be aware of your pet’s diet. For pets who suffer from sensitive teeth already, choose specially formulated dry foods that can wear away plaque and tartar with chewing. Talk to your veterinarian about foods that inhibit bacteria growth and the formation of plaque and discuss how making a major change to your pet’s diet can be effective. When shopping for your pet’s dental health food, look for brands that have the Veterinary Oral Health Care (VOHC) seal.
Caring for your pet’s teeth is one of the best things you can do for their health. It may seem daunting at first, but with diligence, patience, and a soft touch you too are capable of maintaining your pet’s dental health.
“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”
At Gresham Animal Hospital, we have been providing loving care to our patients and their owners since 1944. We provide quality, professional service that is personalized; every patient receives individualized recommendations and treatment.