Brushing your dog’s or cat’s teeth isn’t just about fresh breath. It’s an essential part of good oral care, and good oral care is important to your pet’s overall health. The good news for your pets is they are not as prone to cavities as human beings, however they can still develop problems like tartar and plaque buildup and gingivitis. These seemingly cosmetic problems can lead to life-threatening infections and systemic disease including heart, liver, and kidney conditions.
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Here are some guidelines to effective oral hygiene for your pet:
1. Start early with your dog as a puppy and your cat as a kitten.
2. Initially use a small amount of pet toothpaste on the end of your finger.
3. Then, once your pet is used to this you can try a finger brush; the final stage is a cat or dog specific toothbrush used at a 45 degree angle to clean below the gumline.
4. Start slowly and increase the time every day as they get used to. A step-by-step approach often will lead to acceptance.
5. Reward your pet with a treat afterwards.
6. Do NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. Use a good quality dog or cat toothpaste which is specially formulated to be effective at removing plaque and palatable.
7. It’s ideal to brush your dog’s teeth daily, just like you brush your own. However, if your schedule doesn’t allow that, aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least several times a week.
8. Remember that dry food is better than soft food for your pet’s good oral health, as soft food can stick on the teeth. However, some dry foods are much more effective than others – pop in so we can show you.
8. Offer bones and chew toys that are designed to strengthen gums and remove plaque.
9.Check your dog’s or cat’s mouth regularly for:
Misaligned,crowded or missing teeth
Discolored, broken teeth
Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
Bumps or growths within the mouth
Change in eating or chewing habits
10.See the vet every 6 to 12 months, your vet should include a dental examination with a normal checkup, but ask for it if they don’t.
If plaque accumulates, over time it hardens into calculus which is the primary cause of gingivitis. At this stage it is likely that your pet will require a professional descale and polish under general anaesthesia.
So, don’t delay, make an appointment for a free dental check today! We also have a wide range of dental accessories including toothpaste, toothbrushes, chew toys and foods specially designed for good oral health.