Like humans, pets health can depend largely on their oral health. Improper dental care or undiagnosed oral problems can lead to very serious health complications, including weight loss, loss of appetite, and many other problems. Keeping your pet's pearly whites in tip-top shape might seem very challenging, but between simple at-home practices and routine vet care, the process is actually quite simple.
The best dental care starts at home. There are many specialized products available for maintaining Fido's beautiful smile, including toothbrushes and pastes, dental-specific treats, and toys that promote hygiene.
Pet toothpastes come in a variety of flavors, so you're sure to find one your pet loves. Similarly, there are special toothbrushes designed specifically for your pet's mouth. You can even buy special doggy mouthwash! In addition to regular brushing, there are several brands of treats that have been made specifically for promoting oral health. Many also include natural and safe breath-fresheners. Finally, several types of toys can be helpful between brushing and vet visits. A high-quality rubber chew toy or rawhide can help to scrub teeth and keep plaque under control.
As with any new pet routine, start early and be consistent. Ensure that your pet is comfortable and calm when going through at-home dental procedures like tooth brushing. This will help prevent injury to you and your pet, as well as decrease anxiety during the next grooming.
It's very important to never use human oral hygiene products on pets. According to the ASCPA, the fluoride and flavorings in most toothpastes can be very harmful to dogs.
Professional Dental Care
In addition to routine home dental care, it's very important to keep your pet on a regular veterinarian schedule. A vet professional can help to diagnose and pinpoint oral health concerns as well as provide more thorough cleanings. Banfield Pet Hospital recommends scheduling your pets' oral care visits when you schedule your own -- every 6 months or so.
Paying attention to oral hygiene is a must for the health and safety of your pet. Practicing good oral hygiene at home through brushing, dental treats, and appropriate toys can go a long way for maintaining your pet's dental health. Routine vet visits at a clinic like Clayton Veterinary Associates are also a must, both for thorough cleanings and monitoring overall oral health. Putting these pieces together can definitely help to ensure that your dog or cat has a long, happy, and healthful life.