Good oral hygiene is essential to your pet’s healthy development. Just as you benefit from regular brushing and flossing, your dog or cat also needs consistent dental care to stay healthy and active. Although annual cleanings from a local vet and various rawhide treats can help keep your pet’s teeth clean, you might wonder if there’s more you can do to help prevent them from contracting dental diseases.
In this second half of our two-part blog series, we’re discussing dental care for your pet at length. We’ve already covered the most common signs of dental disease and how annual cleanings can improve your pet’s overall health. Now we’ll talk about what you can do for your dog or cat’s teeth at home.
1. Introduce Daily Brushing
One of the best things that you can do for your pet is to brush their teeth on a daily basis. Not only will this remove any harmful plaque, but it will also prevent gingivitis, inflamed gums, and other conditions from developing. Although most pets resist brushing at first, many learn to accept it over time, when treated with proper care.
The key is to introduce brushing slowly and establish it as a daily routine. Choose a pet-friendly toothpaste (human toothpaste can be toxic if ingested) and place a small amount on your finger for your pet to taste. After a few days, switch to a soft-bristled pet toothbrush and slowly begin brushing their teeth. Gently hold back their lips and speak to them in a soothing voice as you make light strokes. You should also praise or reward your pet afterward for their good behavior, to help them adjust to this process faster.
2. Specially Formulated Treats and Toys
While treats and toys are not a replacement for brushing, these devices can still help to control your pet’s tartar. Many rawhides chews, for example, are mildly abrasive against your dog’s teeth, which helps to scrub away the thin layer of film that builds up in their mouth before it hardens. Other treats and toys are specially formulated with various enzymes; in turn, these work to reduce potentially harmful bacteria.
When it comes to your pet’s oral health, you can trust Noah’s Ark to provide thorough, yet gentle dental care. Contact our office today or schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s dental needs and how we can help!