Your pet’s bad breath is not just unpleasant; it can be a dangerous health concern. Periodontal disease is severe and can lead to an abscessed tooth, gingivitis, heart disease, kidney disease, and more. Pet dental health is an important part of keeping your pet happy and healthy!
Brush Your Pet’s Teeth Daily
Brushing your pet’s teeth once a day can help keep your pet’s mouth clean. Even pets have bacteria in their mouths. After eating, food mixes with saliva and bacteria and forms a film that covers the teeth called plaque. The plaque sits on your pet’s teeth and over time forms tartar. This traps bacteria under your pet’s gum line causing gum disease, inflammation, and infection. A daily teeth brushing removes the plaque keeping your pet’s breath fresh and their gums healthy. Daily brushing is essential! Only brushing their teeth every now and again allows the plaque to turn into tartar which can only be removed by dental scaling which requires anesthesia. Be sure to buy a toothpaste made explicitly for animals as human toothpaste contains fluoride, which can be poisonous to our furry friends.
Dental Water Additives To Freshen Breath
If brushing your pet’s teeth daily is not your thing, dental water additives are safe, convenient, and plentiful There are many water additives on the market. Placing an additive in your pet’s water kills bacteria and freshen breath in between dental cleanings. Dental water additives are easy to use, just follow the directions and add it to your pet’s water bowl each time your clean and refill. Checking the label on is essential! Artificial colors, flavors, alcohol, or xylitol are a big no-no!
Dental Chew Treats
Dental chews that help remove plaque and tartar. There are dental chews that are specially formulated by veterinarians and ones that are all natural. There is a variety of specially formulated chew bones available on the market such as Greenies®, Bright Bites, OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews, and Vetradent Dog Chews which are all approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. To view, the products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council click here. For all natural chews, we recommend deer antlers, bully sticks, marrow bones, & raw, frozen bones. Please remember that feeding your pets cooked bones from your dinner plate such as steak or chicken bones, which could be dangerous and lead to an intestinal blockage! Always consult your veterinarian regarding appropriate chew bones to prevent unwanted trips to the emergency veterinarian!
Dental Chew Toys
Dental chew toys not only help keep teeth clean they also help keep your home safe from a habitual chewer! Kong and Nylabone have a variety of dental chews. These chews accommodate casual chewers and aggressive chewers and come in a variety of sizes and flavors!
Routine Veterinary Dental Exams And Dental Cleanings
A dental cleaning done by a veterinarian under anesthesia removes plaque and tartar that you can see on the surface of the teeth and from under your pet’s gums. Dental cleanings are recommended to be done least once per year but can vary from pet to pet. Many pet insurance programs like Embrace Pet Insurance cover dental cleanings in their wellness plans. Please be advised that Anesthesia Free dental cleanings are NOT recommended, as the tartar builds up under the gumline cannot be removed when your pet is awake leading to infection, gingivitis, and other harmful diseases. Always have your pet’s teeth cleaned by a licensed veterinarian.
Making a habit of scheduling a dental cleaning for your pet every February during National Pet Dental Health will benefit your pet, and your wallet will benefit as most veterinarians offer discounted rates for dental cleanings during February!