Is Your Pet’s Dental Health Really That Important?

dental healthYES. Okay, no need to read further.

Just kidding! We’ll explain exactly why taking good care of your pet’s dental health is so important. The more you know, the better you’ll get at picking up that doggie toothbrush!

Why Is Pet Dental Care So Important?

Not only will a dental visit make your pet’s breath fresher, it also can help alleviate dental-related pain and periodontal disease.

Unfortunately, periodontal disease—or advanced gum disease—is a far more serious issue than you might imagine. Rather than just affecting your dog or cat’s mouth, periodontal disease is associated with severe kidney, liver, and heart problems.

How Can I Take Care of My Pet’s Teeth at Home?

First, you’ll want to select a toothpaste that your pet likes. Don’t reach for the Crest though—human toothpaste can be extremely toxic to pets. After you’ve found a toothpaste that meets your pet’s approval, offer a small amount to your pet on your finger for a few days (this is a sneaky way of getting them to view toothpaste as a treat!)

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to use your index finger to simulate brushing. This time, pair the simulated brushing with the toothpaste treat. In a week’s time, you’ll be ready to graduate to a pet toothbrush. Use the pet toothbrush as you would your own, gently making 8-10 small circular strokes over the surface of each tooth.

To make the entire process easier, don’t forget to add toothpaste at the beginning and end of each session—this helps your dog or cat associate brushing with yummy “food.” We recommend that you brush your pet’s teeth daily for the best dental health.

How Can Beechwold Veterinary Hospital Improve My Pet’s Oral Health?

Beechwold Veterinary Hospital is pleased to offer modern dentistry for dogs and cats. During a routine dental exam, we’ll clean under the gum line to remove plaque and tartar, polish each tooth to discourage plaque buildup, and use fluoride to strengthen teeth’s enamel. We also provide X-rays and perform extractions, if necessary.

How Do I Know If My Pet Needs a Dental Appointment?

This is something we can answer at your next vet appointment. During each appointment, we scan your dog or cat’s mouth for signs of decay. If your pet could benefit from a dental visit, we’ll let you know.

Generally speaking, if you’ve gotten a horrifying whiff of your pet’s breath lately, there’s a good likelihood your pet needs a dental visit. Bad breath isn’t the norm when it comes to pets—it just occurs often because many owners neglect their pets’ dental health.

Finally, if your dog or cat appears to be in pain—or displays signs of problems like gum inflammation or loose teeth—your pet probably needs dental care. In cases like these, we encourage you to come in immediately for an evaluation rather than waiting for your next vet appointment.

And speaking of those vet appointments, is your pet due for one? If so, you can schedule one by contacting our Columbus office at 614.268.8666 during normal business hours. For your convenience, we’re open until 6:30 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; 7:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 3:30 on Saturdays.