February is Pet Dental Month – a perfect time to promote good oral care and dental hygiene and remind pet parents about the importance of healthy gnashers!
Maintaining dental care is necessary to provide optimum health and quality of life. Dogs use their mouths for more than just eating – they use them to play, explore and taste a lot of their surroundings too. If your dog’s teeth aren’t properly cared for, it can cause problems.
To highlight Pet Dental Month, natural pet supplement manufacturer nutravet share their top tips to help look after pet’s teeth.
Vet nurse Korina Stephens from nutravet says, “By the age of three, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have developed some form of periodontal disease. Poor dental care doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth, the bacteria generated by gum disease could eventually enter their bloodstream and potentially damage their heart liver or kidneys.
“When your pet has healthy teeth and gums, they can get the most out of their food, crunching every delicious mouthful as they go, but if their teeth hurt, they’ll soon go off their meals and their metabolism will suffer.”
Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is the best way to keep their teeth clean and healthy. If you start this from an early age, it will get them used to it as part of their routine. Cleaning your dog’s teeth is an important part of maintaining your pet’s dental care to help provide optimum health and quality of life.
Here are some tips to help clean your dog’s teeth:
- Be patient and get them used to having their teeth cleaned over a few weeks. Let them taste their dog-safe toothpaste so they think of brushing their teeth as a treat not a chore.
- You can help to get your dog used to having their mouth touched by gently rubbing a soft cloth along their gums. Gradually move on by using a brush that fits over your finger. This will help to get your dog used to the feeling of their teeth being brushed.
- When your dog is ready, use a proper dog toothbrush with a longer handle, which will help you reach all their teeth.
- After each session, reward your dog with a treat or praise and be sure to follow this same routine to get your dog comfortable with teeth brushing.
- Make sure you use a toothpaste specifically for dogs; never use human toothpaste, which is toxic to dogs.
You can buy toys that are designed to clean your dog’s teeth as they chew on them. Be careful not to get toys that are too small and can be swallowed and get caught in your dog’s throat.
Dental chews, treats or specialist foods can also help to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Be careful not to feed them too many of these, include them in their daily calorie intake to prevent any unwanted weight gain.
Don’t feed too many sugary treats, as this can cause more bacteria to build up on your pet’s teeth.
Bones can wear down and damage teeth. Bones can also break into splinters, which can damage their gums and throat if swallowed.
Consider using a natural supplement that is designed to work against bad breath, tartar and plaque, for healthy teeth and gums.
Regular vet checks
Regular vet visits can allow them to keep an eye on your pet’s oral health, as well as other health issues that may arise. If you’re worried about your dog’s teeth, speak to your vet, who is best placed to monitor your pet and offer advice.