February is National Pet Dental Health Month, a month to increase awareness and proactivity focused on our pet’s dental health. We are sure to take care of our own teeth, and we should be doing the same for our pets!
One of the most common, and preventable issues for dogs and cats is Periodontal disease. Periodontal disease causes issues for our pet’s oral health, but also can affect internal organs if left untreated. With proper care for your pet’s teeth, it’s easily preventable and as a bonus, will lead to fresher breath for less stinky kisses!
Brushing is the most effective way to prevent dental issues. It reduces bad breath and cleans away built-up plaque and tartar that lead to gingivitis and periodontal issues. There are a variety of pet toothbrushes and flavours of pet toothpaste to make the experience more enjoyable for your pet. Ideally you want to brush their teeth once a day, aiming for 30 seconds or more but switching up where you’re brushing to keep your dog or cat from getting bored or agitated. The most critical area to focus on is the outer portion of your pets’ teeth, getting around the gums at a 40-degree angle. If they will tolerate brushing of the inner portion of their teeth than it is encouraged to do so – but the majority of plaque and tartar will be around the outer gum line.
Toys and Treats
If you are unable to brush your dog or cats’ teeth regularly, or they just don’t tolerate it, toys and treats can help keep their teeth clean – they do not completely replace a good tooth brushing though. Toys and treats can help mechanically remove some amount of tartar and plaque buildup. There are options that can help freshen your pet’s breath as well.
Additives and sprays
Water additives and sprays are also available for your pet. These water additives and oral sprays help break down and deter the adhesion of plaque and tartar to the teeth. They don’t mechanically remove the build-up; therefore, they pair best with regular brushing. If you use a pet fountain or other filtered option for your pets drinking water – the water additives will be filtered out and will not have any effect.
Besides brushing your pet’s teeth daily, the best thing you can do for your pet is scheduling regular vet checkups! Similar to us visiting the dentist, a vet can look over your pet’s oral health and perform thorough inspections, which allow them detect issues that we as owners may not discover. On top of regular vet check-ups your pets state of dental health may benefit from regular tooth cleanings to get things back on track if you weren’t aware of the high importance for our pet’s oral health previously.
If you have any questions or are looking for products to aid in your pet’s dental care, give us a call or visit us in store. Be sure to contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns relating to your pet’s dental health.