Dental issues are some of the most common health problems that veterinarians see in domesticated animals. Don’t let your pet fall victim! Use these tips from a Springdale, ON veterinarian to keep your dog or cat’s pearly whites up to par.
At-Home Oral Exams
Sit down with your pet once a week or so in a quiet, well-lit area of the house. Gently peel back their lips to expose the teeth and gums—look for swelling and/or inflammation, redness, bleeding, cracked teeth, brownish-colored plaque build-up, and anything else out of the ordinary. Let your veterinarian know promptly if you see something that doesn’t look right.
It’s often an overlooked aspect of dental care, but feeding your pet a quality diet is a great way to keep the teeth and gums—not to mention all other body parts and systems—in great condition. A great food gives your pet all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for strong teeth and healthy gums, so ask your vet to recommend a premium pet food choice.
That’s right, you can brush your pet’s teeth in the comfort of your own home. You’ll need a pet toothbrush, a canine- or feline-formulated toothpaste, and a bit of patience. Begin by simply massing your pet’s teeth and gums gently with your finger, perhaps dabbing it in a bit of chicken broth first to entice your pet. Gradually, introduce them to the paste. When Fido or Fluffy is comfortable, brush one tooth and give your pet a treat. From there, you’ll be able to move around to the entire mouth, keeping the teeth and gums clean over time.
Chew toys and other playthings are about more than just plain fun. Chewing on appropriate items actually helps to keep the teeth and gums strong, and it scrapes away some of the loose plaque on your pet’s outer tooth surfaces, removing it before it hardens into dangerous tartar. Dental chews and other veterinarian-recommended products can also help, so talk to your vet to get a few suggestions.
There’s no substitute for professional check-ups and thorough dental cleanings at your veterinarian’s office. A deep-clean can get at the nooks and crannies that brushing never will! For more information on your pet’s dental health needs, or to set up a dental cleaning appointment, call your Springdale, ON animal hospital. We’re here to help!