Your pet’s dental health is just as important as yours and the task of brushing their teeth is something to get used to, for them and for you. Oral hygiene is often overlooked, and it may be causing your pet pain, stress, and discomfort without you even knowing. It is estimated that the majority of pets are suffering from some form of periodontal disease, but the good news is these are preventable with the proper care.
Here are some things to consider to make your pet’s dental care go smoothly:
- Make it a Habit
Your pet should learn to expect it as part of their daily lifestyle. We recommend brushing once daily as studies show that less than that hardly does much for dental care. You only need to brush the outside of the teeth and not the inner portion.
- Get the right products
There are many products out there that are meant to improve dental health. Chews, water additives, and certain foods are types of products available. We tend to rely on products that are VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) approved. This means they have gone through the research to certify and prove that these products work. Check out the list here.
- Warm them up
Training and getting them used to it is key. Do the training the same time each day and start with a small amount of yummy toothpaste on your finger and rub the teeth. When your pet is ready (not turning away but enjoying the process) move to a finger brush, then if he/she allows, you can try a bristle toothbrush or even an electric tooth brush.
- Don’t forget the rewards!
Create a positive association with the habit of brushing with a treat, affection, or play time. This way, your pet may be more agreeable next time, even if it didn’t go so well the first time.
Remember, use only animal-based toothpaste, something with a yummy flavor that they like. Do not use human toothpaste as they cannot spit.
If you are feeling stuck, here are some other dental care tricks to help. Your cat’s dental health is just as important, and these tips can be applied to them as well and there are products made specifically for them.
If you have questions, don’t be afraid to give us a call or come on in to make sure your pet’s dental health is up to date! Contact us at Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic for routine dental checkups and advice. Remember, patience is key! Good dental care is essential to keeping your pet healthy and with some dedication, it can become part of your daily routine.