We all know that it is important for us keep up with our dental care. And I know, I’ve heard I should brush my pet’s teeth, but do I really have to? Are chews enough? Or do we really need to brush their teeth? If so, how do we go about it? There are so many questions about dental care and our pets, but we are here to help.
Why do you need to brush your pet’s teeth?
For similar reasons, our pets need to protect their teeth from plaque and tartar buildup. We’re not the only ones subject to periodontal disease and cavities. Even though our pets teeth are strong, proper care is vital in keeping them healthy. What’s more, is that gum disease can also increase the chances of heart, kidney, and liver disease, t00. Dental chews can help, but brushing is the only way to ensure the best protection.
How do you start?
First off, NEVER use human toothpaste on your cat or dog. Fluoride can be deadly and most dogs don’t react well with baking soda either. Grab some pet specific tooth paste and also a pet friendly brush.
- Use your finger and peanut butter to familiarize them with your fingers being in and around their mouths.
- Replace the peanut butter with your pets-only toothpaste; let him taste the toothpaste
- Run your finger along the gums of the upper teeth.
- Repeat the process with a pet designed tooth brush or finger bristle brush. Get the bristles of the brush along the gum line of the upper back teeth and angle slightly up, so the bristles get under the gum line.
- Work from back to front, making small circles along the gum lines.
- Do not try to brush the entire mouth at first, address the outside of the upper teeth first as this is the most important area for periodontal disease prevention.
- Slowly increase the range of brushing as you pet allows.
- Ideally brush their teeth daily, but 2-3 times a week is a realistic goal to set. Pick a time of day when they are relaxed and comfortable for the best results.
Is it ever too late to start?
The younger your pet is when you start a brushing routine is best, it is truly never too late to start. It may take a little more time to acclimate them to the ritual, but as long as you don’t give up, they’ll get used to it soon. They key is to go slowly. Even if they only allow one or two teeth at first, it’s better than none. The whole process should not take more than a minute.
After all, us humans and ours pet love to eat, right? That’s why taking care of our teeth is so important. Dental care and food do go hand in hand after all! Do you have any tips or tricks you use with your pets? If so, let us know!