Dental care is just as important for animals as it is for humans and proper pet dental care begins at home. As their owner, it is your responsibility to help keep your pet’s teeth in the best possible condition and this will directly support not only their dental health but their overall wellbeing. This is because poor oral health has been linked to the development of many serious health conditions including diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, liver disease and more.
By supporting your pet’s dental health through at-home dental care, you can help your pet to retain functioning teeth and reduce their risk of developing problems that have painful, debilitating and serious consequences. Here’s our top do’s and don’ts of at-home dental care for your pets.
Try to perform at-home dental care for your pet at least once each day. Ideally, this means brushing your pet’s teeth. Brushing is the single best way of removing food particles and bacteria from your pet’s teeth, as well as removing any sticky plaque before it can harden into tartar. This is important since tartar can only be removed by a professional veterinary dentist.
Offer pet dental chews. These aren’t simply tasty treats. Instead, they contain ingredients that have been proven to be beneficial for your pet’s oral health. However, that isn’t all. Chewing stimulates your pet’s body to produce saliva which helps to counteract any acids present in their mouth and will wash away some of the bacteria. Chewing abrasive dental chews also creates an action that is not dissimilar to brushing their teeth, removing plaque and getting them as clean as possible.
Take your pet for an annual professional dental cleaning. This is a deep dental clean that is carried out using a general anesthetic, whilst professional tools are used to remove all traces of plaque and tartar from their teeth. Using general anesthetic your vet can ensure that your pet is completely still and compliant. This makes carrying out the clean much safer and gives your vet the time and access needed to do a comprehensive clean of every part of your pet’s mouth.
Use human toothpaste when brushing your pet’s teeth. This is critically important as they contain ingredients that are toxic to animals and could make your pet very sick. We strongly recommend that you choose C.E.T enzymatic toothpaste, which is specially formulated for pets and comes in multiple flavors.
Try and clean the inward-facing enamel of your pet’s teeth. Animals find it very difficult to tolerate this and their tongue and natural saliva will do much of this job anyway. Instead, focus on cleaning the outer faces of the teeth which require the greatest attention.
Allow your dog to chew on bones, rawhide or cow hooves. They may be marketed as a good product for getting your pet’s jaws to work, but they are actually too hard and could end up damaging your pet’s teeth. They also pose a potential choking risk.
If you would like more advice and support relating to at-home dental care for your pet, please contact our veterinary team today