Being a pet owner is a rewarding experience. Cats and dogs give you unconditional love and support. In return, you take care of their health, like feeding them and bringing them to an animal hospital in Orlando if they’re sick.
When it comes to maintaining their pet’s physical well-being, most owners tend to focus on what they can see, like shampooing the fur and trimming the nails. What most people don’t realize is their dog or cat’s oral health is just as important. Dental diseases don’t only affect the teeth and tongue; they can also harm the kidney, liver, heart, and other internal organs.
In preparation for February Dental Month, here are some vet-approved tips for taking care of your pet’s oral health.
Brush Their Teeth
Just think about it. If you don’t brush your teeth for a day, food remains lodged between the crevices, and you also risk suffering from cavities, halitosis, and other mouth diseases. The same things happen to your pet, and they can’t practice good oral hygiene on their own.
Brushing your pet’s teeth is among the best methods for maintaining a healthy mouth. It prevents tar and plaque buildup, which is the number one cause of periodontal disease for dogs and cats.
To apply this practice, veterinary hospital doctors suggest introducing your pet to having their teeth brushed. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by commanding a simple “sit and stay.”
- Open their mouth and start scrubbing their teeth and gums very gently with a soft brush. If they move their head away, repeat step one.
- Gradually, scrub the hard-to-reach areas, like the base of the gums and molars.
- Once you’re done, give them a treat so they’ll think positively of tooth brushing.
- Continue doing this at least three times a week until they get used to the routine.
As a reminder, the fluoride in your average toothpaste is toxic to animals. Instead, buy a brand with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance or just use plain water.
Give Dental Toys and Treats
If there’s one thing dogs and cats love more than head scratches, it’s toys and treats. Give them ones that help keep their mouth healthy.
Dental toys and treats are designed to clean teeth while being chewed. Just like brushing, they help prevent plaque and tar buildup. Plus, since pets enjoy gnawing them, they’re excellent tools for maintaining strong teeth and gums, keeping periodontal disease at bay.
Keep in mind that not every dental toy or treat will be effective for your pet. Since they come in various shapes and sizes, check the label to see if they’re suitable for your dog or cat before buying.
Also, dental treats shouldn’t be a replacement for brushing. They can’t clean deeply and reach areas like the molars and crevices. Instead, use them as a reward to complement the cleaning.
Visit the Vet
Just like you, your pet needs a professional to check their condition. When it comes to this, the most reliable people are veterinarians.
Veterinarians are the all-around doctors of the animal world. You can ask them anything about your pet, including:
- the condition of their oral health
- tips on how to train your dog or cat in tooth brushing
- the best treat or toy to use
Aside from that, veterinary services in Orlando, FL, also include checkups, cleaning, and operations. Visit Forever Vets Animal Hospital regularly so that your pet won’t only have shiny, white teeth and fresh breath; their overall health will improve, as well.
Serving Jacksonville, Orlando, Nocatee, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and more.