5 Tips for Your Pet's Oral Care
Most people know how important oral hygiene is for us humans. But did you know that it is equally important for our beloved fur babies? Because we understand it's not an easy feat to brush your pet’s teeth, Dr. Bailey and our North River Dental Care team have compiled five simple tips to help make your furry friend's oral care be as "paw-sitive" as "paw-sible."
1. Start Early & Be Consistent
Training your pet at an early age that brushing their teeth is normal and okay will make the process more tolerable for them and you. The sooner the better! If you have an older pet, don’t fret, they can still learn new tricks too. Gradually establish a consistent routine so they come to realize that getting their teeth brushed is a predictable part of their day.
2. Use the Right Tools
Many pet stores carry a wide variety of toothbrushes designed for dogs and cats. If you are on a budget, a soft-bristled child's toothbrush or even a piece of gauze around your finger works too. Moreover, it is incredibly important you only use specially-formulated enzymatic pet toothpaste. Human toothpaste can be very harmful to them! Toothpaste for pets comes in appetizing flavors like chicken and bacon. Yummy! Additionally, dental chew treats are an excellent way to freshen your pet's breath and break down plaque between brushings.
3. Gently Ease Your Pet Into It
Your pet may be a little scared and confused as to why you are sticking your fingers and foreign objects in their mouth. To avoid this, get them used to having their mouth handled by gently using your fingers to massage their gums and teeth for several days before you introduce the toothbrush and toothpaste.
4. Always Reward Your Pet
Although your pet may enjoy the flavor of the toothpaste, they probably will not love having their teeth brushed. Be sure to finish each daily dental regimen with verbal praise and a treat, walk, belly rub, or ear massage. Eventually they might look forward to their oral hygiene routine!
5. Regularly Take Your Pet to the Vet
In case of any underlying oral health issues your pet may have, like tartar buildup or gum disease, it is a good idea to have a veterinarian evaluate their mouth regularly. Depending on your pet's dental needs, their vet may recommend a timeline of how often they should receive a professional dental cleaning to supplement their daily brushing routine.
Care for Your Own Oral Health!
We hope that these tips help you maintain "purr-fect" oral health for your canine companion or feline friend. Although brushing your pet's teeth every day will ensure optimal oral health, even a couple times a week is better than nothing. Remember to brush your own teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss and brush your tongue daily, and come see us at North River Dental Care every six months. Contact us to schedule your dental checkup and cleaning!