Your pet’s dental care is extremely important, and as her main caregiver, you are responsible for doing everything you can to help her retain healthy, functioning teeth for as long as possible.
Our veterinary dentist is firmly in your corner, and regular check-ups with a professional are essential for spotting potential problems early and getting your pet any treatment she needs before her dental issues become too painful or debilitating. Nevertheless, you are your pet’s biggest dental health advocate, and it is the day to day care that you provide that will help your pet fight decay, damage and periodontal disease the most.
There are several different things that you can do to help look after your pet’s dental health.
The most important factor in her dental care should be daily brushing. Not all animals are immediately receptive to having their teeth cleaned, but it is possible to build up her tolerance levels by using a technique that involves gradual exposure to the elements involved in the brushing process. This includes having her teeth and gums touched, the taste of the toothpaste you will be using, and actually having them brushed using a toothbrush. Lots of praise and positive reinforcement help to make this a stress-free experience for both you and your pet.
When you brush your pet’s teeth, you must take special care to choose a variety of toothpaste that is pre-approved for your species and breed of animal. Never use human toothpaste. Human toothpaste contains fluoride, and many contain xylitol and high levels of sodium, all of which are toxic to animals. It may take several attempts to find a pet toothpaste that your furbaby likes the taste of. If at first you don’t succeed, try another flavour instead!
Another good way to help your pet is to provide her with a chew toy. Dogs in particular love to chew, and the best thing about this pastime is that it stimulates your pet’ body to produce saliva – her natural defence against the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Encourage chewing on a daily basis by providing a robust selection of chew toys.
All pets enjoy a tasty treat from time to time, but did you know that there are some treats that you can get that are proven to be good for your pet’s teeth? Dental chews and similar products contain enzymes that lower the pH level in your furbabies’ mouth which will make it less hospitable for bacteria. This, combined with the stimulation of saliva, can seriously help keep decay at bay.
For further advice on at-home pet dental care, contact us at (530) 491-4500 and schedule an appointment with our veterinarian.