Keep your pet's teeth in check

We're constantly reminded about the importance of our own dental care, but what about our pets' teeth?

To mark National Toothache Day today, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is advising owners not to brush off advice about their dog or cat's dental hygiene. Last year, the team performed dental procedures on more than 1,800 animals - a 13% increase from 2015 - making it one of the most common procedures performed at their new veterinary hospital.

One of their patients was Molly, a 14-year-old Shih Tzu, whose teeth had never really been cared for and, due to her age, the condition of her teeth had declined over the years. The vets were required to extract some of Molly’s teeth so that she could lead a happier, pain-free life.

Molly needed to have several teeth extracted after age and lack of dental care had left her teeth in a poor condition

By taking care of your pet's teeth you can prevent gum disease and other other painful conditions and Battersea has offered the following advice:

  • Mildly abrasive dog chews are a good way of removing tooth plaque,
  • A healthy balanced diet can also help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar,
  • Teeth brushing is one of the ways to keep gums and teeth healthy. Always speak to a vet for the best way to proceed before starting this as not all pets like being handled around their mouth.

Shaun Opperman, the Veterinary Director at Battersea, advises, "Regular dental check-ups at your own private vet is the best way to help keep your animal’s teeth healthy. If there are any concerns about a pet’s dental health, always consult your own vet. If you are going to brush your pet’s teeth - never use human toothpaste as fluoride is poisonous to dogs."