Pet Oral Care: How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Teeth
As responsible pet owners, there are many steps we take to ensure a long, healthy life for our cats or dogs. From shots and vaccinations to providing a healthy diet and a loving home, there are many responsibilities owners must take into consideration for their pets. Unfortunately, one area of pet care that can be overlooked is dental or oral care. Whether you have cats or dogs, there are several things you must learn in order to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Plaque and Tartar – What Do I Need to Know?
Plaque is a sticky buildup that collects on teeth. Quite simply, it is leftover residue from food that sticks to your pet’s teeth, allowing bacteria to build up and cause damage. Tartar is a form of plaque that has hardened from not being cleaned. In humans, plaque can be detrimental, causing gum disease or cavities if left untreated. However, thankfully, dogs and cats are not as prone to cavities, but there is a possibility that they can suffer from gingivitis or another form of gum disease. Letting plaque and tartar build up one tooth can cause gum recession that potentially creates infections, which can lead to pain, abscesses, and even bone loss.
Home Oral Care and the Steps You Can Take
Luckily, there are many steps you can take to prevent the buildup of plaque and the damage it can cause for your cat or dog. Here are some tips to help you take care of your pets and improve their oral health:
- Scheduling oral exams regularly – Your veterinarian will check your pet’s teeth and gums. Professional examinations can prevent serious dental issues.
- Brushing your pet’s teeth frequently – The best defense is a good offense. If you clean your pet’s mouth regularly, there is a much smaller chance that issues will occur.
- Examining your pet’s teeth closely– Soft foods, while important to a pet’s diet, can cause more issues with teeth than regular foods. It is imperative to carefully monitor, examine, and brush your pet’s mouth after eating soft foods in order to reduce the possibility of an unhealthy mouth.
- Purchasing chew toys/bones designed to clean teeth – Safe and especially designed objects, such as chew toys and bones, can strengthen your pet’s teeth as well as provide an abrasive surface to remove plaque and tartar.
Veterinarians and Professional Oral Care
Most veterinarians are aware of the problems and expenses that can arise from poor pet oral care. Just as it is important to see your dentist every six months, your pets must see a veterinarian in a similar time frame as well. A vet can prevent most oral problems from occurring before they begin, while also helping you to provide the best home care for your cat or dog.
Dental care is not always the easiest or moat enjoyable task for pets or humans, but it is an imperative aspect of the overall health of your pets. Please make an appointment at Beechwold Veterinary Hospital today to talk about the health of your pet’s teeth and gums.