As humans, brushing our teeth and taking care of our mouth and gums is part of our daily routine. However, when it comes to pets, many owners fail to realize the importance of oral health and it falls by the wayside. This isn’t good news, as a robust oral hygiene routine is just as important for four-legged family members too. Not only will it help your pet to eat and digest their food properly, but looking after his teeth will also prevent:
Any of the above problems can cause extreme pain and further complications if left untreated, for example, bacterial infections can cause damage to your pet’s organs including his liver, kidneys and heart.
The very best way to look after your pet’s teeth is to take him for routine dental visits with your veterinarian. These visits can be a little stressful for your pet if they are particularly averse to having their teeth checked, but only your veterinarian is able to perform a truly thorough examination of your pet’s teeth, which is important for spotting any potential problems early.
Oral care is vital to their overall health and wellbeing, but unfortunately not all pets are compliant with veterinary visits to get their teeth checked. Thankfully there are some easy things you can do between visits to help keep your pet’s teeth healthy.
Get a pet toothbrush
Brushing really is the very best way to keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy, and manufacturers have designed several form of animal-specific toothbrush so that owners can try and carry out the job at home. As well as a traditional handle-style toothbrush, you can also get a form that sits over your finger like a glove. The finger-style is often much easier to manoeuvre around your pet’s mouth. Make sure that you avoid human toothpaste as this can be poisonous to your pet. Instead ask your veterinarian to recommend a pet toothpaste.
Chewing is proven to be beneficial for our oral health, and the same principle applies to our pets. A chewing action encourages the mouth to produce saliva, which helps to neutralize any acid and bacteria and wash it away. This is important as these acids can cause erosion of the enamel on the teeth, putting them at increased risk of cavities. As such, by getting your pet a selection of chew toys, you can help to boost his oral health.
There are a number of additives that you can add to your pet’s water that help to reduce tartar formation. They are strictly a preventative rather than a treatment, so start using them from an early age, or straight after your pet has had a dental clean.
Opt for natural foods
A large amount of the processed pet foods that are currently on the market are packed full of sugar, which as we know, is very bad for teeth. However, by opting for natural foods that are as close to a ‘wild’ diet as possible, you can eliminate a lot of refined sugars from your pet’s diet. By a wild diet we mean eating food similar to what he would find if he had to hunt his own food – think meat, vegetables and bones.