Your pet doesn’t have a symbiotic relationship with another animal like the nile crocodile and egyptian plover bird, but chances are, he or she has one with you. Your pet needs you for a great deal, and the priority list should include keeping up with routine pet dental care. After all, a healthy mouth can mean a healthier pet.
Let’s explore the ways you can protect your pet from health problems related to poor dental hygiene.
Good Pet Dental Care Starts At Home
Brushing your pet’s teeth can become an additional bonding experience, but it may take some time and practice getting to that point. Establishing a regular routine will diminish plaque and tartar build-up, which, when left alone, can lead to numerous oral diseases. These come with serious health risks, such as heart, kidney, or liver disease.
To help your pet’s dental health, we suggest following these tips:
- Pick up a special pet toothbrush designed for your pet’s mouth
- Purchase a pet formulated toothpaste; never use human toothpaste, as it can make your pet ill
- Introduce the brush and toothpaste to your pet slowly, letting him or her sniff and taste
- Give lots of kudos and cuddles
- Gently brush the outsides of your pet’s teeth at a 45 degree angle in a circular motion
- Slowly open the jaws by cupping the nose or chin to brush the remaining teeth
- Reward your pet with appropriate treats, walks, play time, or a snuggle session
What To Look For
If you’re maintaining your pet’s dental care, most dental signs are a result of normal usage that can be handled during your pet’s next dental cleaning. If you’re not brushing your pet’s teeth, then regular dental exams and cleaning become even more important to prevent dental disease or catch problems early.
There are more serious signs of dental disease that should never be ignored, some of which can occur despite regular dental care. Please contact us immediately if you notice any of the following:
- Broken or worn teeth
- Foul breath (halitosis)
- Broken or worn teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose teeth
- Swollen mouth, gums, or jaws
- Bleeding from mouth
- Loss of appetite or eating difficulty
- Pawing at the mouth
- Inflamed gums
- Pain while eating
- Behavioral changes
Professional Pet Dental Care
As part of your pet’s wellness exam, we closely inspect the state of the mouth, teeth, and gums. Digital X-rays will show us what is going on beneath the gum line, which is generally where most problems fester. If it is necessary, we will schedule a treatment or cleaning under general anesthesia. We test blood levels prior to cleaning to determine if your pet can handle the procedure and monitor him or her closely while under anesthesia.
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not pet dental care matters, we hope you have the information you need to get started. At home oral care when paired with dental exams and professional cleaning can extend your pet’s life, and keep him or her healthier during the time you have together.