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Dental hygiene is often overlooked in pets, but it’s an important part of their nose-to-toe health.
Without proper dental care, your pet may develop a range of problems. It could start with basic build-up of plaque and tartar, but that can lead to a few additional issues including:
- Excessive, uncontrolled drooling
- Tooth decay and loose or lost teeth
- Inflamed gums and gum disease
- Bad breath from rotting
- Pain when eating or loss of appetite
There are varying levels of care you can offer your pet when it comes to their teeth. Though it’s best to brush their teeth at home regularly, not everyone may find the time – or your pet may not have the patience.
Ways to Keep your Pets’ Teeth Clean
At the simplest level, dental health for your pet can include a water additive and a daily chew.
The most comprehensive option, of course, is regular brushing. If your pet is comfortable with the procedure, you can brush as frequently as every day. Even brushing weekly or monthly can be beneficial.
When brushing your pet’s teeth, keep these tips in mind:
- Use a pet-friendly, enzymatic toothpaste in an appealing flavor. Do NOT use human toothpaste on your pet – it is toxic for them!
- Pick a toothbrush that is specially designed for pets and is the right size for their mouth
- Give proper praise for a job well-done so your pet will see brushing as a positive experience
All pet owners should get their pet’s teeth inspected by a dental veterinarian at least once a year. The vet can provide a more thorough teeth cleaning than you can do at home, and they can inspect below the gum line, take X-rays and look for other signs of concern. If they spot any issues, they can treat them early and have more success protecting your pet’s teeth.
Remember to work dental hygiene into your pet care routine so they can be as healthy as possible!