When was the last time you took a good look inside your pet’s mouth? According to PetMD, more than 80% of dogs will develop a significant oral health issue, such as infected gums or loose teeth. When my teacup Maltese stopped eating and lost significant weight. His breath was foul and it took a vet visit to diagnose he had canine gingivitis. The above before and after treatment photos demonstrate the importance of vet cleaning every six months on small breed dogs.
Six Steps to Better Oral Health
Prevention and treatment of your pet’s oral issues are important for the overall health of your dog or cat. Here are some tips to brush up on your pet’s oral health:
- Tooth-Friendly Treats: Gnawing on certain natural treats and bones can actually help scrape away plaque and dirt on pets’ teeth (plus, it’s fun and tasty for your pet!) Be sure the chews and treats are 100% all natural from human-quality ingredients for your dog. Consider Cloud 9 Canine: cloud9canine.ca single source chews and treats. Select treats based on size of your pet and their oral health history.
- Brush it Off:Like humans, dogs need their teeth brushed regularly. Make sure to use toothpaste specifically formulated for pets (do not use human toothpaste which requires rinsing/spitting out). Vetoquinol’s great-tasting, no-rinse toothpaste comes with a special finger brush and pet-friendly tooth brush in the Enzadent Complete Toothbrush Kit available at most vet clinics.
- Ease into Oral Health:If your dog is not amenable to tooth brushing right away, although is open to you touching their mouth, start by getting them used to oral cleaning with a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. Use it to wipe teeth and gums. Once they are used to that, begin to introduce actual teeth brushing with a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Watch this instructional video: How To Brush Your Dog's Teeth
- Annual Checkup:Set up your pet’s annual dental check up at the same time you schedule your own. Routine annual checkups and preventative care can actually help prevent more serious issues that can be expensive to treat later on.
- Fear of the Dentist:If your dog or cat has a general fear of vet trips or dental checkups, you may consider asking your vet about Zylkene, a natural, non-sedating, calming supplement that can help dogs cope with stressful situations. Start them on it about 4-5 days before the vet/dental visit.
- The Nose Knows: Bad breath in your pet is often a sign of an underlying oral health issue, such as an infection - pay attention to that smell. It can also be a symptom of broader health problems. If your dog starts developing bad breath, particularly if you are cleaning his teeth regularly, speak to your vet.
Links: Enzadent Complete Toothbrush Kit
YouTube: How to clean your dog’s teeth