Dental Care for Dogs
Much like humans, your pet’s oral hygiene can be indicate the presence of other health issues. Preventative care is the best way to make sure that your pet is happy and healthy.
CARING FOR YOUR PUPPY OR KITTEN'S TEETH
Did you know that 75% of cats are affected by dental disease by the age of three? It’s best to start an oral hygiene routine with your pet early, when they are young. Most kittens and puppies will warm up to teeth brushing and other dental care if exposed to the practice often enough and beginning when they are young.
If not removed, plaque turns into tartar, which can result in gum recession and tooth decay. Kittens are notorious for resisting dental cleanings. Sadly, pet resistance to dental care will often lead to their owner giving up on dental care altogether.
DENTAL CARE FOR ADULT DOGS AND CATS
Because your pets have different types of teeth, “trouble spots” where plaque builds up will not be the same as where your troubled dental spots are. Canines, incisors, premolars, and molars all have specific functions.
Teeth that are closer to the front of your pet’s mouth will be easier to reach with a toothbrush, but back teeth like molars are much harder to clean. Using a variety of preventative dental care measures will ensure your furry friend’s mouth stays healthy.
WHAT YOU CAN USE TO KEEP YOUR PET'S MOUTH CLEAN
There are many options when it comes to establishing a dental routine for your pet. Aside from the necessary health benefits, this practice will also keep your veterinary bill for dental care low! Extracting a diseased tooth can be costly but it is largely preventable to maintain proper oral hygiene for your fur baby.
Often, a diseased tooth will spread deeper into the canine or feline mouth, causing additional problems. Oral bacteria from shabby oral hygiene can also have a detrimental effect the kidneys and liver.
Here are some easy ways to make dental care a part of your pet’s normal routine:
- Water Additives: Arguably the easiest to add into a routine, water additives help calm irritated gums, as well as work to prevent plaque, tartar, bacterial build-up, and bad breath. Both cats and dogs love Particular Paws’ Oral Care Water Additive. The best part about water additives is that it can clean all of their teeth and is simply added to your pet’s drinking water!
- Dental diets: This works as a substitute for your pet’s daily meal to encourage oral health through their diet. While some pet owners will mix a pet’s normal food with a bit of dental diet food, this is generally not an accepted practice as it will dilute the intended effect.
- Toothpaste and toothbrush: tricky to use for cats and sometimes for dogs that are not used to a dental care routine, this is a tried and true traditional method to make sure that your pet’s mouths are clean. This method is easier to implement when your pet is still a puppy or kitten.
- Chews: Pet stores everywhere carry these. Chews will make sure that your pet’s teeth are sinking into something delicious while cleaning off the plaque at the same time! These are best for cleaning your pet’s molars and pre-molars. Greenies are a good dental care choice.
Like humans, pets should have their teeth checked every six months. Daily brushing, oral care additives, and the like all work to promote good oral hygiene but they are not a replacement for a check-up with their veterinarian. Outside of regular check-ups, if your pet is extremely sensitive when you try to brush their teeth or if they are pawing at their mouth, it could mean a dental problem already exists.
Take your furry friend to the vet as soon as possible if you see symptoms of dental problems. Sometimes extractions are necessary but pets are often much more comfortable after the problem has been removed.
WHAT DOES A DENTAL INVOLVE?
It happens exactly like a human dentist visit, but pet-style! Pets receive dentals after a dental check-up reveals a problem that requires more attention. Since pet mouths don’t open wide enough and because they are not naturally disposed to let someone poke around their mouth for the time required to solve dental problems, vets will put cats and dogs under anesthesia during their Dental.
Commonly, a veterinarian will use a throat tube to prevent your pet from swallowing bacteria while cleaning their teeth. Then, each tooth will be checked, and maybe even x-rayed if the vet thinks there may be a problem. The teeth are then scaled (just like yours) to take off excess plaque.
Depending on the condition of the teeth, a plaque preventative film may be applied as well. Their teeth are then cleaned and extractions are done, if needed. Then, your pet is ready to go home!
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PET HAS MISSING TEETH?
Quite often, a missing tooth after a dental visit means that your pet has been in pain, suffering from an infected tooth for a long time. Your pet will be overjoyed to now be able to eat pain-free and won’t miss the infected tooth at all.
ADVANCED DENTAL CARE
It truly is incredible how far technology has come. From root canals to braces and crowns, pets have similar options to people. If your pet needs to have extensive dental work performed, be sure to schedule this in advance.
Some veterinarians may not offer certain services, and others may charge you an arm and a leg! Do your homework to ensure that you make the most informed decision possible, for your pet.
A HEALTHY MOUTH MAKES A HEALTHY PET
Canine and feline mouths contain a wide host of different bacteria. Bad bacteria can cause many problems, in their mouth and throughout the rest of their body. Making sure that you’re doing all you can to keep your pet’s mouth squeaky clean will help stop dental disease in its tracks.