Dental care is just as important for your pets as it is for humans. Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem kinda tricky but necessary to avoid dental health problems and oral complications. Here are a few tips from veterinarians to help you keep your pets teeth fresh and clean.
Avoid any human products, especially ones with fluoride. Fluoride is toxic and can make our pets deathly ill. Also, we want to avoid excess sugars, and of course any ingredients that our pets are sensitive or allergic to.
If you have a puppy or kitten, this is the best time to get your pet used to having its mouth handled and inspected. You should consult with your vet before giving your pet any new product.
Coconut oil in very small amounts can be used on the gum line as well to make a mild reduction in inflammation as well as infection if used appropriately. This is not appropriate for all pets, based on overall body health, and is not to be used in place of a good dental hygiene program, but can be a step within that program.
Other products sold to help keep pets’ teeth clean include edible dental chews, animal-sourced natural chews like antlers, oral rinses, prescription diets, food additives, dental treats and topical dental sprays.
Avoid deer/elk antlers as they are too hard and can cause fractured teeth.
Proponents of raw feeding often cite healthy teeth and gums as a benefit of their pets eating raw meaty bones (raw chicken backs, for example) and chewing recreational raw bones. The teeth cleaning happens as the pet is chewing on the bones for longer periods and the bones are scraping the teeth and gums. The bones are also lacking in any sugars or starches – besides what is naturally found in the meat – so there is nothing to cause plaque and tartar.
“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”