Most people don’t pay attention to their cats’ and dogs’ teeth. While it’s true that they don’t require excessive maintenance, especially since they don’t have as many nooks and crannies as ours, they need some attention. Pets’ teeth can and do accumulate plaque, and without proper pet dental care, they can rot and fall out. To bring more awareness to this issue, Kapolei Pet Hospital is observing National Pet Dental Health Month this February by educating owners in Kapolei, HI, and beyond about how they should care for their pets’ teeth.
If you have a cat or a dog, here’s what you need to know:
Consider Brushing Regularly: Cats and dogs can easily develop gum disease, including periodontitis and accompanying infections. You may recognize these as human conditions, but any animal with gums can develop them with too much tartar buildup. To clean your pet’s teeth, brush them with a soft-bristled brush at least once a day using regular water or a specialized toothpaste.
Feed Dry Food Occasionally: Wet food is generally of higher quality than dry and helps keep animals hydrated, but you should still consider giving your pet dry food once a day. This is because dry food has more to offer than its long shelf-life and inexpensive price, particularly when it comes to pet dental health. For example, it doesn’t contribute as much tartar buildup, and its crunchy texture can be comforting for pets to chomp on, especially when they’re teething.
Provide Chew Toys to Young Animals: Similar to humans, kittens and puppies eventually lose their milk teeth and start growing adult ones at a certain age. It can be easy to overlook this in cats, as they often swallow their baby teeth (a common and safe occurrence), but you can tell a kitten is teething if it seems to chew on everything in sight; it may also have bloody gums just before losing a tooth. To make teething easier, provide your pet with plenty of chew toys. Kittens tend to lose their upper and lower canines between four and six months of age; puppies lose their teeth starting at around three months of age.
The best reference for any questions you have about pet dental health is your veterinarian. If you’re looking for one serving in the Kapolei, HI, area, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kapolei Pet Hospital at (808) 462-8040. Their clinic provides a wide array of pet health services and speaks both English and Japanese. More information is available online.