Pet owners don’t always take their animal’s oral hygiene into consideration. However, it’s an important part of keeping your pet healthy. Not only can sore gums, gingivitis, or other disorders cause an animal pain, they could lead to harmful conditions such as:
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Mouth cancer
- Periodontal bone loss
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene in Your Pet
Here are some tips for protecting your pet’s dental health:
- Check the pet’s breath. If your dog or cat’s breath has a stronger odor than usual, it could be indicative of gingivitis, digestive issue, or other condition.
- Check the pet’s teeth and gums. Healthy gums are pink. If your pet’s gums look discolored or swollen, you should have a veterinarian examine them. Other conditions that warrant medical attention include loose or cracked teeth, ulcers, and chewing problems.
- Brush your pet’s teeth regularly. Try to brush your dog or cat’s teeth at least 3-4 times each week. Gently rubbing the gums of puppies or kittens will help acclimate your pet to tooth brushing later in life.
- Give your pet chew toys. Gnawing on a chew toy helps strengthen an animal’s teeth. Gnawing on a chew toy helps strengthen an animal’s teeth. It also helps prevent tartar buildup and cleans between teeth. Avoid giving your pet very hard objects like steak bones, since these can cause teeth to crack.
Methods for Cleaning Your Pet’s Teeth
You can clean your pet’s teeth with:
- A pet toothbrush. Toothbrushes designed specifically for pets can fit onto your fingertip. They also have soft bristles, which will allow you to massage your pet’s gums as you clean his or her teeth. Be sure to use toothpaste designed for animals; toothpastes for humans can prove harmful to animals if swallowed. You can purchase animal toothbrushes, animal toothpastes, and other dental products at our pharmacy.
- A dental pad. You can use pads or wipes to clean your animal’s teeth when you don’t have time to use a toothbrush and toothpaste. Many pet stores carry them.