Keeping your teeth healthy and strong is something we focus on each time we brush our teeth or floss. We think a lot about our own dental health — but what about our furry friends? This February is Pet Dental Health Month, an opportunity to watch out for the oral hygiene of your four-legged companions.
In this post, we’ll give you a few helpful tips on how to keep your pets’ mouths as healthy as your own.
1. Brush Your Pet’s Teeth Every Day
While we know how essential daily oral care is to our own teeth, few people realize that pets need that same attention every day. It’s best to start this habit while your pet is young, so they get used to it quickly. However, with a lot of positive reinforcement, even an old dog or cat can learn this new trick.
2. Invest in Teeth-Friendly Foods
Crunchy kibble is far better than canned pet food, as the latter tends to promote tartar and plaque buildup. While many pet foods and treats claim to help your pet’s dental health, not all of them work. Talk to your vet if you need recommendations for dental-specific diets.
3. Get Your Pet’s Teeth Checked Once a Year
While semi-regular trips to the dentist are a part of you and your family’s yearly rhythm, most people don’t take their pets to the vet to get their teeth checked out. You should visit the veterinarian at least once a year specifically to look at your pet’s oral health.
4. Watch Out For Tooth-Damaging Treats and Toys
Toys and treats can help keep your pet’s teeth cleaner, but some can cause tooth fracture or premature erosion. Bones and other treats can also fragment, which can lead to choking or a gastrointestinal injury.
Be careful when offering rawhide, bones or even nylon tennis balls, only giving your pet these treats or toys when you’re home to supervise. When you have to leave them alone, provide your pet with rubber balls or Kong toys instead.
5. Call Your Vet if You Notice Any Dental Health Problems
You may need to have your pet’s teeth checked before their yearly dental exam if you notice any of the following oral health issues:
- Loose or broken teeth
- Bad breath
- Discoloured teeth
- Teeth covered in tartar
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in or around the mouth area
- Abnormal chewing or dropping food
- Excessive drooling
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Noticeable pain in or around the mouth
Be careful when you check your pet’s mouth, as animals experiencing pain can become irritable and may bite.
Contact Dental Choice to Schedule Your Human’s Appointment
If you’re looking for dental care for all the humans in your family, we invite you to contact Dental Choice today. We always strive to provide the best possible care to all our patients. So, if you need a dentist in Calgary or anywhere in Alberta, we hope to hear from you soon.