When it comes to dental health, prevention is always the best treatment. Identifying where there is a dental health condition in your pet however, is often near impossible with many pets showing no obvious symptoms at all
Does your pet show any of the below conditions?
- Do they suffer from bad breath?
- Do they have a loss of appetite or difficulty eating?
- Are they pawing at their mouth?
- Are they drooling excessively?
If you answer yes to the above questions, your pet may be in need of a dental health check. If you didn’t say yes to any of the questions, simply ask your veterinarian to check your pet’s teeth on their next routine check-up.
To keep your pet’s teeth always looking healthy, check out some of the below tips and tricks for your pet. Remember, pet’s need their teeth cleaned just like humans.
Tips to Prevent Dental Disease
- Dental treats come in a range of textures and flavours that help fight tartar and plague build up and freshens breath
- Certain dental chew toys have various shapes and grooves that make it easy to get into your pets mouth and help assist in oral health
- Brushing teeth doesn't just sit with us humans and really should be just as frequent in our fur-friends. Make sure pet specific tooth paste is used as human tooth paste is harmful for our pets
- Dry food, especially dental diets are a great way to combat tartar with the larger sized kibble. They will need to chew harder breaking away tartar build up on teeth
- Regular checkups with your veterinarian are also important to help identify if your pet's teeth may need a little more attention with a scale and polish.
Tips & Tricks for Teeth Brushing
Your pet’s teeth will be ready to begin cleaning from 8 weeks old which is a great age for familiarising them with a daily dental routine. We have compiled a handy guide to brushing your pet’s teeth to get you started.
- Be patient; start slowly, giving plenty of affection and praise. Create routine by brushing at the same time every night ensuring you choose a time depending on your pet’s personality and motivations; if they are food motivated brush their teeth just before dinner & use dinner as the reward.
- Prepare your pet; get your pet used to the sensation of touch on their lips, teeth and gums using your finger. Try putting a few drops of chicken/beef stock or tuna juice (cats) on your finger, you pet will begin to look forward to the ‘reward’ associated with this touch. Note; small pets may feel more relaxed sitting on you knee.
- The next stage; repeat this touch with a piece of flavoured (stock or tuna) cloth wrapped or a cotton wool bud. Start along their gum lines before lightly massaging their teeth and gums.
- Introduce the toothbrush; dip the toothbrush in the same flavour before holding it at a 45degree angle to the tooth gently brushing back and forth in a circular motion (gum to tip).Begin slowly with one or two strokes at the front of their mouth before continuing to their back teeth and if possible their tongue .
- Introduce the toothpaste; rub a small amount of toothpaste onto their rubber chew toys and encourage them to play and chew. Combine for the ultimate clean; it is now time to use both the toothbrush and paste together. Remember to start slowly and build up to at least 30 – 60 seconds on each side, sticking to a daily routine as much as possible. Note; as losing their baby teeth can be painful it is recommended that you stop teeth brushing until their permanent teeth come in.
Dental Hygiene Tools
- Pet specific tooth brush; failing this a soft human tooth brush maybe used
- Pet specific toothpaste; human toothpaste is harmful to pets if swallowed.
- Oral rinses and gels. Note; These must be pet specific, ask us for guidance
- Nutritionally complete superior dry food that which is designed to help to clean their teeth; these commonly contain ingredients similar to toothpaste. we can recommend the right food for your pet.
- Rubber chew toys
- Dental treats, carrots or apples, pig’s ears, noses or trotters or rawhide bones
- Raw bones. Note; Avoid bones which are hard enough to fracture your dog’s teeth
If you are concerned about your pet’s dental condition, below are some of the symptoms your veterinarian will look out for: