It may seem weird to pick up a toothbrush and bring your cat or dog over for some dental care time, but it’s all part of being a responsible pet owner. You have to make sure you’re doing what you can to keep them healthy, and that includes helping your beloved pet avoid dental problems. After all, their teeth and gums aren’t invincible!
Why Pet Dental Care Is Important
Sometimes it may seem like we’re completely different from our pet pals, but one thing that definitely connects us is the risk of dental disease. Just like humans, dogs and cats can develop plaque, bad breath, tooth discoloration, gum disease, toothaches, and abscesses. And just like with humans, those problems can be avoided with proper attention and daily oral care. You don’t want your pet to suffer from tooth pain or another serious oral health concern, so make your pet's oral hygiene a priority.
How to Maintain Your Pet’s Oral Hygiene
- When it comes to brushing your pet’s teeth, you may want to start off easy with a damp cloth to help them get used to having their mouth handled.
- Then, progress to a long-handled pet toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Once they’re comfortable with their toothbrush, introduce a pet-appropriate toothpaste. Pet toothtaste comes in flavors, like chicken and bacon, that will be appetizing to your furry friend. Remember that human toothpaste can be toxic for cats and dogs!
- Brush your pet's teeth in a familiar area that is comfortable and as free of distractions as possible.
- Reward your pet with praise, belly rubs, and/or playtime to help them develop a positive association with their oral hygiene routine.
- For optimal oral health benefits, brush your pet's teeth every day but at least a few times a week.
- Supplement your pet's oral care with dental chew treats to help freshen their breath and break up plaque between brushings.
If you really can’t seem to get in the swing of brushing your pet’s teeth, consult your local veterinarian to see what strategies they recommend. They can also advise you about specific foods, toys, and treats that are designed to improve pet dental health, as well as how often to schedule professional dental cleanings for your pet.
Remember to Care for Your Own Smile Too!
Ready to go with your pet’s dental care but have some questions about your own? Contact our Atlantic Dental Partners team so we can help you out.