Dog holding a toothbrush in its mouth.

There are so many things we maintain in modern life. From our bicycles to our gutters, healthy hobbies to pruning, there’s no shortage to basic upkeep. In fact, it’s likely that a solid portion of your week is dedicated to simple maintenance of your home, checkbook, waistline, and sanity. The good news is that it pays off to stay in front of negative developments. 

In the same way, pet dental care helps our companion animals retain their optimal wellness while keeping certain health conditions at bay. Pet dental health is more than simple brushing once in a while, and we’re happy to help you learn more about oral upkeep. 

The Extreme Reach

Most of us are all too familiar with doggy or kitty breath. If they don’t receive regular brushing at home or annual cleanings under anesthesia, where is all of that plaque and tartar supposed to go? Nowhere! It stays firmly attached to the teeth and gums where it has the chance to do the most damage. By the time bad breath is obvious, periodontal disease is imminent.  

There are four stages of periodontal disease (only the first stage is considered reversible if rapid intervention occurs). The first stage involves tartar buildup and gum inflammation. By stage four, pets may lose bone, experience bleeding gums and pain, and suffer from systemic disease. Without complete pet dental care, pets can become vulnerable to heart disease, liver problems, or kidney disease. 

Look Good, Feel Good

Think about how you feel after a thorough teeth scaling and polishing. Probably a little more likely to smile at strangers? Well, your pets feel pretty great after they have their teeth professionally scaled and polished, too. They get that yucky stuff off their teeth, and without their body’s ongoing fight against oral bacteria and inflammation, they can feel their best, as well. 

Enjoying Their Food

Aside from foul breath, pets may show other signs that they’re experience tenderness, sensitivity, or straight-up pain, such as:

  • Dropping food
  • Inability to chew
  • Preference for eating on one side of the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Blood in their water dish

We all know that pets love their meal times, so imagine how devastating it is for them when they can’t enjoy their food. Pet dental care prevents this from happening and saves them unfortunate pain. 

Pet Dental Care at Home

We recommend the following strategies to keep pet dental care at the forefront:

  • Brush their teeth as often as you brush their teeth and trim their nails. Make it a part of their grooming routine. You can do this every day, but try three times a week.
  • Invest in specially designed pet toothpaste and use a soft bristled pet toothbrush. 
  • Reward them with praise once they let you gently massage their teeth and gums (pay close attention to those molars!).
  • Give them a dental treat when you’re finished so they associate the experience with something positive and delicious.
  • Provide them with healthy, safe chews to strengthen teeth and gums, and remove plaque and tartar build up. 

If you have additional questions about pet dental care practices at home, or want to schedule a dental cleaning and exam with us, please call us at (210) 681-1391.