Are you paying close attention to your pet’s pearly whites? If not, February is a great time to start!
February is Pet Dental Health Month and we are SUPER excited about it.
Let’s face it; no one enjoys being met with foul “dog breath” or “fishy” feline odors when going in to cuddle their fur-baby. And believe it or not, your pet doesn’t like it when their mouth smells either! Unpleasant breath can be the first sign of gum disease or tooth decay, which can offer a great deal of discomfort to your loved one.
The symptoms depicted below can lead to one of four stages of dental disease in your pet.
Depending on the severity of bacteria growth, infection, and potential bone loss, your pet may require oral surgery in order to restore oral health. The good news however, is that it’s possible to maintain gum and tooth wellness through professional routine cleanings, and brushing at home!
We know, we know. Sticking a tooth brush in your pet’s mouth may seem a little peculiar and maybe even a bit scary at first, but don’t fret! We’re here for you.
Step One: Start by allowing your pet to lick off the canine/feline toothpaste from your finger. This will get your pet accustomed to the taste and feel of the paste in their mouth. Follow this step for several days, rewarding good behavior with treats and praise.
Step Two: Using your toothpaste, run your finger along their gum line and front teeth to allow your pet to become familiarized with their mouth being touched. Follow this step for several days, rewarding good behavior with treats and praise.
Step Three: Introduce you r pet to the toothbrush/finger brush of your choice, allowing them to lick off the toothpaste from the bristles. This will get them used to not only the texture, but the feeling of an outside object in their mouth. You guessed it! Follow this step for several days, rewarding good behavior with treats and praise.
Step Four: Finally! We are able to brush! Begin by holding the top lip up, brushing gently front to back. Move to the bottom set of teeth, holding the lip down and brushing front, moving side to back. Finish off your routine with treats and praise. Your pet deserves it!
In addition to brushing and routine dental cleaning, there are a TON of fun and innovative products to keep your pet on top of their dental health. Some of our favorites include:
• Virbac CET Chews (Canine and Feline Formula)
• Hill’s Diet Dental Chews (Canine Formula)
• Vetri-Science Perio Support (Canine and Feline Formula)
• Hill’s Diet T/D Dental Bites (Canine and Feline Formula)
We hope this month’s blog will not only encourage you to take an active part in your pet’s dental hygiene, but also make it fun for the both of you! As always, we are here to help. Please call our office or shoot us an email if you’d like to learn more about your pet’s oral health.
Heart of Chelsea + LES Animal Hospital