Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Month? Our furry friends need good oral care too! If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to start regularly brushing your pet’s teeth. Much like we can’t expect mouthwash and healthy food to clean our teeth of all the plaque that forms under our gum line, we can’t expect anything less than consistent brushing and yearly professional cleanings to work for our pets.
Brush Their Teeth
You can find toothpaste and toothbrushes specifically made for dogs and cats at various pet stores and vet offices. Never use a human toothpaste when brushing your pet’s teeth because they swallow it and animals shouldn’t ingest fluoride on a regular basis. The actual brushing itself is what does most of the work in disrupting the formation of plaque on your pet’s teeth and slows down the progression of dental disease. When selecting a toothbrush for your pet, look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval. If you’re unable to find such a toothbrush, it’s safe to use a soft-bristled, ADA approved toothbrush such as one made for kids. You should aim to brush your pet’s teeth everyday.
If you are considering beginning to brush your pet’s teeth, but they haven’t had a recent dental cleaning, your best bet to start would be to let your pet lick the toothpaste from the toothbrush. This will help your pet develop a positive association with tooth brushing. Once they’ve become accustomed to it, you can start regularly brushing your pet’s teeth after they’ve had a professional cleaning.
Supplements & Chewies
Humans can supplement their dental care routine with healthy eating habits, and certain chews, dog treats, and other products can compliment your furry friends home dental care routine, too! This comes in handy if you have a pet that does not like have their teeth brushed.
There are certain cases where consistent toothbrushing will not be a viable option for certain pets and owners. Yearly professional cleanings will still help in such situations, so may water additives and certain treats. When shopping for products to help slow the progression of gum disease in your furry friend, make sure they have the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal!