Looking after the health of your pet's teeth is just as important as caring for your own. If something should happen to their teeth or gums, it could mean long periods of discomfort along with high veterinary bills in an attempt to try and solve the problem. If a condition is left untreated to get much worse over time, it can sometimes lead to an animal being put to sleep, so acting as soon as you know there is a problem is vital.
Adult dogs generally have 42 teeth, whilst adult cats have 30. Starting a good dental hygiene routine when they are puppies or kittens can really help in making the care process easier and seem more normal to them. As with us humans, sugary treats should be avoided wherever possible as this can lead to decay and a buildup of plaque.
There are several symptoms that can give away that your cat or dog is having a problem in their mouth. Changing the way that you look after their teeth and gums can instantly help to improve things, but if the symptoms are ongoing or are on the lower end of the following list, visiting your local vet is strongly advised.
Some pets love having their teeth brushed, whilst others find it very stressful and will fight against having it done. It is important not to use human toothpaste, as this contains fluoride which can cause tummy upsets and heavy metal toxicity. Try to associate the act of cleaning teeth with a treat afterwards, so that there is a reward for your pet to behave for. It won’t be necessary to clean their teeth for 2-3 minutes at a time as in humans. Just a few seconds on a regular basis can work wonders in keeping the mouth healthy.
An Arm and Hammer Toothbrush will reach all parts of your pets gums, in a 3 sided design that will fit comfortably into the mouth and make the process much easier. Johnson’s Dog/Cat Triple Action Toothpaste comes in a tasty chicken flavour which will make it more appealing for your pet, protect gums, cleaning teeth and keeping breath fresh.
Certain toys can also help to remove plaque, should brushing the teeth not be an option. They are designed to maintain teeth and gums by using a dog's natural instinct to chew, massaging the gums and keeping them healthy.
The Pennine Mighty Mouth Blue Dental Ring Dog Toy for example is made in a textured design that will work between the teeth and work loose any debris and plaque.
Food and treats are another option for cleaning your pet's teeth in an effective and non stressful way. Many pet food companies make versions of their products especially for treating dental conditions and keeping teeth in tip top condition. They not only taste great, they can help to reduce plaque and keep the breath smelling fresh.
Canagan Dental free Run Turkey Grain Free Dry Dog Food is one example, containing their own special ProDen PlaqueOff formula. As for cats, Dentalife Salmon Cat Treats are designed to maintain good oral health with their crunchy and porous texture.