I brush and floss twice a day, but what about my dog’s and cat’s teeth?
There are many ways that you can help care for your pets’ dental needs at home.
The first and most effective option is brushing your pets’ teeth. This is much easier than it sounds! To start, you will need a pet friendly toothpaste; enzymatic toothpaste is the best product to brush pets’ teeth with. It differs from human toothpaste because the enzymes break the tartar down for you, rather than contact time required when humans brush their teeth. Get your pet used to the toothpaste by first giving a small portion as a treat, then work on applying it to the outer surfaces of the teeth. You can use your finger to get the toothpaste on their teeth, or there are other options such as a tooth brush, an exfoliating glove, or a finger toothbrush. Your veterinarian may guide you on where to focus your efforts, depending on your pets’ unique mouth.
Different foods can be helpful in cleaning your pets’ teeth. One of the highest quality foods for dental care is Hill’s T/D. Quality dental diets have differently formulated kibble that helps clean below the gumline and minimize plaque and tartar. This can work nicely with treats that are formulated to care for teeth. Dental treats such as Greenies, VeggieDent, HealthyMouth Treats, and DentaLife treats are all great options. These are usually given daily to help prevent tartar buildup.
Another convenient option is a cleansing wash that you can put into the water that acts like a mouthwash. Water additives can be one of the easiest things to do for your pet’s mouth, and can help improve breath.
Maintaining your pets’ teeth at home can help prevent more tartar building on their teeth. You can use as many of these options as you’d like to provide excellent oral health for your pet. The best thing to do is have your pet’s teeth cleaned 1-2 times per year, and then maintain them with any of the above methods: brushing, OraVet, food, treats, or rinses. See our post next week about how to select effective products for your pet’s mouth!
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