At my dental office in Lakeland, we have a soft spot for fuzzy animals. Which is why we think it’s important to talk about dental care for pets. Dental care for our furry family members is just as important as dental care for humans. And while we don’t accept four-legged patients in this office, we do want to provide you with tips for proper pet dental care.
Signs of a Problem
Before we discuss how to keep your pet healthy, it’s extremely important to know the signs of some serious dental concerns. Keep a lookout for the following:
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Refusal to let you near his mouth
If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact your vet as soon as possible as they may be signs of something serious.
Brush Your Pet’s Teeth
You heard us correctly. Pick up a toothbrush that’s right for your animal at your local pet supply store, apply some pet toothpaste (do NOT use human toothpaste — it can cause stomach issues in animals), and scrub gently in soft circles. It may take some practice, but brushing your pet’s teeth two or three times a week can be beneficial to his dental and overall health. It’s also recommended that all pets receive professional cleanings at the vet once a year.
Allow Puppies to Chew
It’s an unavoidable reality — puppies chew everything. From shoes, to table legs, and even clothes, there’s nothing a new puppy won’t sink its teeth into. Part of the natural desire to chew has to do with teething, and it’s actually beneficial. It helps strengthen teeth, massage gums, and scrape away tartar. So stock up on chew toys and encourage your pup to chew only on those toys, not only for the health of his teeth, but also for the health of your shoe collection.
Pick an Appropriate Diet
Your pet’s diet can affect his dental health, just like your food and drink choices can affect yours. There are a variety of pet foods available to help reduce tartar and plaque buildup. Talk with your vet to see what’s best for your buddy.
Following the advice above can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy for a lifetime. But don’t forget about your own oral health. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and maintain visits to my Lakeland dental office at least every six months. Don’t let dental problems plague you or your pet. Make the commitment to proper oral health for you both.