dental care in petsDid you know that most cats dogs have developed periodontal disease by age three? Have you looked in your pet’s mouth today? Do you know what to look for? Here are symptoms that may indicate your pet needs an oral examination:
1. Bad breath
2. Excessive drooling
3. Reluctance to play
4. Reluctance to eat
5. Favoring one side of mouth
6. Loose teeth
7. Redness of gums
8. Swelling under the eye
It’s more than doggie breath! Yes, we joke about doggie breath, but the truth is that our pets’ mouths are very similar to human mouths. Humans, dogs and cats all experience having baby teeth, losing them and getting adult teeth. All teeth have nerves and blood vessels, dentin and enamel. If plaque isn’t removed, it mixes with bacteria and becomes tartar, which must be professionally removed. If that step is neglected long enough, it will lead to periodontal disease.
Carrot and kibble cleaning while you wait. Imagine what our own mouths would be like if we never brushed our teeth and simply depended on the food we eat to clean our teeth. Carrot sticks can only do so much, and the same is true of dry kibble. Ideally, a dog or cat’s teeth should be brushed daily. Most will tolerate this attention if the routine is started at the puppy or kitten stage. An older pet can also be persuaded, but it’s important to go slowly.
Open wide. Practice tender, gentle care in slow motion. A finger brush (one that fits over your finger) is ideal for a small pet. You can also purchase specialty pet toothbrushes and meat-flavored toothpaste. Never use human toothbrushes or toothpaste. Our toothpaste can be toxic to pets, and our toothbrushes are too large and hard for their mouths. For the first two weeks, don’t use any toothpaste. Just help your pet become accustomed to the sudden attention to her mouth. You can add the toothpaste later once she’s used to the experience.
Sustaining good oral health keeps your pet energetic and happy. If your pet exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, call us today for a dental care exam for your pet. We have state of the art equipment to help keep your pet’s mouth fresh!