Did you know that your pet’s overall health can be affected by their dental health? Dental issues can not only be caused by other health problems, but they can also cause other problems with your pet’s health. Even with all the possible problems, oral hygiene is one of the most overlooked aspects of a pet’s health.
Yearly gum and teeth check ups are the best way to check for early signs of any problems and keep your pet’s teeth healthy and happy.
Untreated sore gums and toothaches can cause pain and stress. More worrisome is that the bacteria from the problem area can enter the bloodstream and affect the heart, kidneys and liver. Periodontal disease can start as early as 3 years old and will only continue to get worse as your pet ages. It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. This can usually be easily seen and removed, but if it’s not taken care of it will cause damage and even infection.
How to Get Started Cleaning Your Pet’s Teeth
- Get your pet used to having you touch their teeth by using peanut butter, yogurt, or other tasty treats on your finger. Rub it on their gums as they lick it off.
- Purchase pet only toothpaste and introduce it to them the same way. DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE. The chemicals and fluoride are hazardous.
- Start slow, introduce the idea of brushing but don’t force it. It’s okay to do half (or even just one or two) of your pet’s teeth at a time if needed.
- Daily brushing can be unrealistic, but try to aim for at least 3-4 times a week
- Use dental treats and chews to help keep your pet’s teeth clean. The abrasiveness of a hard chew will loosen plaque and help keep them clean in between brushing.
Veterinary Anesthesia Cleaning
Of course, make sure to talk to your vet about your pet’s dental care. After a check up, they may recommend an anesthesia cleaning to ward off potential diseases. Your vet will perform a cleaning just like the one we would get at the dentist, except your dog will be put under. The dentist is an extremely stressful experience for many humans. Just imagine how your pet feels when it is done to them. They don’t understand what is going on or why it happening. It can be hard for them. That’s why almost all vets recommend an anesthesia cleaning. It is the best way to clean their teeth without the traumatization.
It’s more than just keeping up a pearly white smile. Dental care is a vital part of your pet’s overall health and wellness. At home and from a professional, good dental hygiene is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.