Open up and Say Woof (or Meow)!

by TAMEPetMag
September 26, 2017

Posted in: dog teeth, dog toothbrush, pet dental care

Routine Dental Care is as important for pets as it is for us!

Are you a pet owner that has been less than faithful in caring for your pet’s teeth? If so, this article is for you! Neglecting routine oral hygiene can have some very devastating effects on the health of your fur-kids.

Here are a few ways to up your dental care game.

Regular Brushing
If you haven’t introduced tooth brushing to your pet already, don’t be surprised when they aren’t thrilled by the prospect. With time and patience, however, you can both become pros.

Start by choosing the right toothpaste. It must be designed for animals. Human toothpaste can contain chemicals that are poisonous to pets. Most pet stores carry a good selection of pastes and brushes. You may also want to consult your veterinarian. Because they know your pet personally, they are likely to offer some good recommendations.

There are also oral rinse products on the market to help prevent plaque, which can lead to gingivitis. Go easy the first few times you attempt brushing. Doing it after your pet has had exercise may also help them to sit still.

Don’t forget to be calm yourself and offer praise and encouragement. Rewarding with a treat afterward is a good idea too. Before long, your pets will look forward to this important activity.

Annual Exams and Teeth Cleaning
Just like with your teeth, regular brushing at home should be followed up by regular visits to a professional. Your veterinarian will examine teeth and gums, looking for signs that anything is amiss such as, soreness and gums that bleed easily.

Healthy choppers will also be free of cracks, plaque and tarter. These issues can lead to serious periodontal disease, which is painful and can result in loss of teeth. Regular check-ups will catch problems in the early stages, and regular cleaning will help prevent them ever beginning.

Tarter, for example, can only be removed professionally. Older pets may need to be seen more than they did when they were younger. Taking the time to schedule check-ups can save you time and money in the long run, as well as unnecessary discomfort for your pets. So, make sure to check with your veterinarian on how often you should schedule visit.

Chewing Aids
Our pets are lucky that there are lots of things to help keep teeth clean and healthy. A few that you could consider are dental chews and specially designed chew toys.

When it comes to edible aids, make sure to find ones that are approved by a veterinarian. Good dental treats are made up of healthy ingredients. They will also come in a variety of types to match to your pet’s chewing abilities. It’s important to get ones that your pet can’t consume too quickly or put them in danger of blockages and choking.

Dental treats not only reduce plaque and tartar build up; they can improve breath as well. Also, because these treats do contain calories, be careful not to overdo it.

Chew toys are another good way to assist in keeping plaque at bay. Most pet stores carry a good selection, designed for pets of all sizes. As with treats, be careful to pick toys that are well made and of safe materials.

Not taking care of your pet’s teeth can affect much more than their breath. Bacteria and dental disease can result in some serious health issues. 

#1 – Damage to the Heart
It has been reported that bacteria found on bad teeth can travel to
your pet’s heart, damaging the tissue and possibly resulting in
heart failure.
#2 – Liver Infection
The heart is not the only organ that can be affected by mouth
bacteria. Research shows that bacteria can be swallowed and
travel to the liver. It can also be fatal.
#3 – Infection in the Blood
If bacteria enters the bloodstream, it causes sepsis. Sepsis is an
infection that can travel through an animal’s entire body. It can be
treated, but it is not easy or guaranteed.
#4 – Poor Appetite
When teeth are in poor condition, it can be painful for your pet to
eat. For older pets, weight loss can be especially concerning.

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