In honor of Pet Dental Health month here are 4 tips to keep your four-legged companions happy and healthy.
Fresh breath for pets
Cats and dogs don’t always have fresh-smelling breath. But taking a quick whiff ofyour pet’s breath can help you tell if it is sick or if its teeth or gums are healthy. If your pet’s breath is really offensive, it could be a dental or gastrointestinal issue. Make an appointment for your pet to see your veterinarian.
About once a week take a look at your pet’s gums and teeth. Like your mouth, your pet should have pink gums and clean teeth. If its gums are white or red, swollen, or have tartar, then you should ask if your vet recommends a professional cleaning.
Keeping your pet’s teeth clean
Do you brush your pet’s teeth? Just like you, your pet needs to have its teeth cleaned regularly. Ideally every day, but realistically – brushing your pet’s teeth several times a week is a good way to keep its teeth and gums healthy. Don’t use a toothbrush like yours, and don’t use your toothpaste on your pet. Human toothpaste is designed to be rinsed from our mouths, not swallowed – so it is not safe for your pet. Your vet can suggest the correct toothbrush and toothpaste for your pet, or you can check out our full selection of pet dental supplies.
Your pet might not enjoy having you brush its teeth. You can help your pet adjust to a tooth brushing routine by gently massaging its teeth or gums with your finger or use your finger wrapped with gauze. Once your pet is comfortable with your finger or gauze cleaning, you can try a toothbrush. You can also ask your veterinarian to show you how to clean your pet’s teeth.
Foods or treats to help keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy
There are a variety of pet foods and treats labeled as “tartar control.” Many of these have a scrubbing effect on tartar and might be recommended by your veterinarian. Just don’t overdo and use too many tartar-control treats. Treats are just that, treats.
Also avoid giving your pet table scraps. Many of the foods we eat are not healthy for your pet and can build up on its teeth, which can cause tartar or dental problems later.
Toys to keep your pet’s teeth clean
Both dogs and cats like to chew on things. This helps keep their teeth strong and clean. Gnawing on chew toys is also a stress reliever!
Gnawing and chewing helps clean food and tartar buildup from your pet’s teeth. It also massages your pet’s gums and can help clean its teeth. Your veterinarian can recommend good chew toys or types of bones for your pet to gnaw and chew on. You can also check out our selection of chew toys.