Why Oral Health Is Important for Pets

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Like humans, animals can develop painful and debilitating oral diseases. While they may chew on toys and treats to clean their teeth naturally, chances are that we too need to pitch in in order to maintain their oral health.

Dental Issues in Dogs & Cats

Dogs and cats experience plaque and tartar buildup just like we do, and it’s actually quite common. Many of them also suffer from bad breath, which is likely due to their diets and bacterial buildup in their mouths. Dogs and cats can also develop gum disease, which if left untreated can result in expensive tooth extractions.

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

It is recommended that you brush your pet’s teeth once per day, or at least a few times per week if you’re pressed for time. Buy a pet-friendly toothbrush and pet-friendly toothpaste to use on your furry friend. Do not use human toothpaste on your pet because it is highly toxic to them.

Even if your pet is okay with you opening their mouths, you'll need to proceed with brushing slowly. Get them used to the idea of having toothpaste in their mouths, then slowly introduce the toothbrush over time. Pets don’t necessarily like having their mouths pried open for an unknown amount of time. The more you do it, however, the more your pet will calm down. The end result is a beautiful, healthy smile!

Other Ways to Keep Your Pets Healthy

Dogs have a natural need to chew, so dental chews and bones are a great way for your dog to clean their teeth. There are also cat toys that help keep your cat’s teeth clean even if they’re not big chewers. Offer your pet fresh water so that they can rinse away bacteria from their mouths every time they take a drink. If you’re in doubt about the state of your pet’s oral health, contact your veterinarian to schedule a dental exam and cleaning.

Maintaining your own oral health is a good way to show that you’re the pack leader. Dr. Gary Johnson and all of us at Dr. Johnson, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry look forward to seeing you for your next cleaning. Contact us to schedule an appointment!