Dental Care For Pets

dental care for petsDental care for pets is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health.  You will want to make routine brushing and exams a part of your pet care regimen.  Here are a few things you can do to ensure your pet’s teeth stay healthy.

Food and Chews

You can supply your pet with the right kind of food to keep their teeth clean and strong.  Your veterinarian can recommend the best food for your breed pet.  It is usually better to give dry food versus wet food because wet food can stick to the gum line.  It is also more likely to carry disease causing bacteria.

Providing chew toys or bones is another way to help your pet’s teeth.  Most animals will enjoy toys to play with and ones that naturally help their teeth are a good choice.  Not only will they benefit their teeth, but it will help them stay content too.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth Regularly

Yes pets need to have their teeth brushed too.  Dogs should have their teeth brushed at least twice a week.  Cats need their teeth brushed as well.  You can begin getting your pet used to having his or her teeth brushed by gently rubbing their teeth a few times a day.  Once they are used to having your finger touch their mouth and teeth, you can begin getting them used to toothpaste.  You can find toothpaste that is appropriate for your pet at most pet stores.  These usually taste good to the pet and are safe for them as well.  Once they are use to your finger and the toothpaste, you can begin using a small pet brush.  They also sell finger covers that work as tooth brushes.  Sometimes gauze wrapped around your finger works well too.

Brush the teeth at a 45-degree angle by massaging them in a circular motion a small area at a time.  This should be a gentle process for your pet.  You never want to hurt their gums or teeth.

Examine Their Teeth and Gums

You should regularly examine your pet’s teeth and gums for visual signs of a problem.  The gums should be pink, not white or red and not swollen.  Look under the tongue for unusual signs of tumors or cysts.  Loose or missing teeth might also indicate a problem.  If you notice your pet drooling excessively, having bad breath or bleeding at the gums they may have teeth or gastrointestinal problems.  It is important to bring your pet in for an exam by the veterinarian if you notice anything unusual with their teeth or gums.  Problems with the kidneys, stomach or heart can sometimes show up in the teeth and gums.  Other viruses and bacterial infections can present in the gum area too.

Dental Checkups and Cleaning

During your well exam, your veterinarian will check your pet’s teeth.  They may recommend having your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned.  This will help remove any tartar on the teeth.  Good dental hygiene will help prevent many health risks.  This not only ensures your pet feels good but that he or she stays healthy too.