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Most of us brush our teeth twice a day without even thinking about it. Did you know that your dog’s (and your cat’s) oral health is just as important? In honor of February being Pet Dental Health Month, we bring you four tips for keeping your pet’s chompers in tip-top shape.
1. Brush Fido’s teeth daily! Okay, we understand that for those who have never brushed their pet’s teeth before—or for those with busy lifestyles—that this can be a big adjustment and seem a bit excessive. Brushing your pet’s teeth is important to remove plaque before it builds up. When plaque builds it can cause periodontal disease. If you can’t brush their teeth every day, try to make a goal of once a week and work up in frequency from there.
2. Reward your furry friend with dental treats. There are multiple brands and sizes on the market available for both dogs and cats. Dental treats contain ingredients to help minimize bad breath, plaque buildup, and general mouth irritation. By providing these treats, you can help prevent your pet from developing a variety of mouth diseases.
3. Examine your pet’s mouth. Once a week, or before you brush your pet’s teeth, examine their gums and teeth for any abnormalities. Teeth should have no brown build-up and gums should be pink. Look for any red or white coloring in the gums. If you see any of these developments in Fido’s mouth, its best to schedule a check-up with your vet—which brings me to our final tip!
4. Schedule regular check-ups for your pet. These check-ups are the equivalent of our annual physical. The vet will look over your pet’s general health and take a look at their mouth as well. Veterinarians are well-versed the various conditions that can occur in your canine or feline’s mouth, and determine the best methods to resolve any problems.
By scheduling an annual checkup with your vet, being aware of what to look for in your own weekly exams, and brushing of your pet’s teeth, oral issues that arise can be quickly resolved resulting in lower vet bills, fewer health problems, and an overall healthy and happy pet!