Dental Health for Pets: A Helpful Guide for Owners
Aside from taking care of your pet’s physical health, you also need to look after their dental health. This February, we celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month, so it's only fitting to start learning these simple dental health tips for your beloved pet:
Do a routine dental check.
The only way to know if your pet is experiencing dental problems is to check on their teeth and gums. If you notice any redness, swelling, or white spots on your pet's gums, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian in Staten Island immediately. Your pet's teeth should also be free from tartar build-up; if they do have build-up, it should be addressed before things get worse.
Do a breath test.
Another common sign of a dental problem in pets is bad breath. Although it's natural for a pet's breath to have some odor, (due to their food intake), any overwhelming bad breath could be because of tooth decay or periodontal disease. Make sure to tell your veterinarian in Staten Island about this problem at your next appointment.
Brush your pet’s teeth.
Brushing your pet's teeth should be a part of your routine. Fortunately, you don't need to brush their teeth daily. Do it every few days using a pet toothbrush and toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste because some ingredients could be harmful. If you're not sure what to use, ask your veterinarian.
To help your pets feel more comfortable when brushing their teeth, follow these tips:
- Make sure that your pet is calm and comfortable before brushing their teeth.
- Build a routine by choosing and following the same timing when brushing your pet's teeth, so they can get used to this activity.
- Touch their teeth and gums without the brush first, then slowly use the toothbrush to brush their teeth.
- Make your pet licks the toothpaste from your finger first before putting it on the toothbrush. This will help your pet get familiar with the taste and sensation of the toothpaste in their mouth.
- Slowly brush the teeth, moving from front to back and top to bottom.
- Compliment and reward them for doing a good job after brushing their teeth!
Invest in good chew toys.
Chew toys are a great way to build the strength of your dog’s teeth while satisfying their natural urge to chew on something. Chewing on these toys will also help remove plaque from your pet's teeth. Just make sure to choose safe chew toys and rotate them to keep your pet from getting bored.
Contact a professional when needed
Of course, if you encounter any problems with your pet’s dental health, choose the right veterinarian, like Staten Island Veterinary Group, to have your dog or cat checked and appropriately taken care of. Having an experienced veterinarian will make things easier for you as a pet owner. Contact us today and find out more about our different services!