Like humans, cats and dogs are subject to plaque and tartar buildup that cause gum disease, gum recession, and bone loss. Scheduling pet dental services from a veterinarian and keeping up with home care will keep their teeth and gums healthy throughout their life. If possible, start dental care practices when your pet is still a kitten or puppy, so he or she gets used to it and it becomes a fun activity.
How to Maintain Your Pet’s Teeth & Gums
1. Brush Their Teeth Regularly
Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth every day. Use toothpaste in flavors the animal likes, such as fish or chicken, and let your pet sniff and lick the paste before trying to clean their teeth. (Never use human toothpaste – they won’t spit out the fluoride.) Provide a reward afterward and work up to using more product each day. Eventually, put the toothpaste on a toothbrush, which comes in various sizes to accommodate large and small animals. Clean every tooth surface, while taking care not to be aggressive along the gumline, and pay extra attention to the outside of the teeth because they feature more plaque. If mouth access is an issue, stroke the animal’s face to slowly pull the lips back. Wrapping your finger in a cotton rag or using a q-tip to wipe the teeth are also highly effective techniques, and may be more acceptable to your pet than the toothbrush.
2. Provide Teeth-Cleaning Food & Treats
Give your cat or dog food and treats that naturally scrape the teeth of plaque. Hill's T/D diets for dogs and cats are formulated with special cross-linked fibers that scrape the teeth as your pet chews. Look for the Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council to provide your four-legged friend with the best products. Dental chews can be as effective as brushing if given daily. Dental toys are also available if you are concerned about your pet’s caloric intake. This is especially important for spayed and neutered pets who have slower metabolisms.
3. Schedule Professional Pet Dental Services
Request pet dental services from a veterinarian every six months to check for abnormalities, such as abscesses, cracked teeth, and tumors, as well as provide your animal’s teeth and gums with a deep clean. Like humans, pets benefit from annual dental cleanings and checkups to prevent serious odor, periodontal disease with bone loss, gum disease, and related issues. We also perform a comprehensive physical exam from nose to tail to make sure your pet is as healthy as possible.
Work with the veterinarians at Montgomery Animal Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. Pet dental services are among the many veterinary care services this animal hospital provides. Call (513) 791-7912 today to schedule an appointment, or visit the veterinarians online for a virtual tour of their facility. Like them on Facebook for more up-to-date news and tips.