Pet Health and Wellness News
Do you have questions about how to care for your pet's teeth? Let us help
Pet owners need to brush their cat or dog's teeth DAILY to be effective in preventing plaque from mineralizing into tartar. Pets suffer from the same process of plaque formation on their teeth that humans do. Therefore whenever you brush your teeth, it's probably time to brush your pet's teeth too!
Start this early - gently explore your kitten's teeth or puppy's mouth with your fingers when they are young. This will accustom them to having their gums massaged and their teeth brushed. When teeth are brushed daily, your pet will quickly accept tooth care as part of your grooming behaviour and tooth brushing will be a normal activity for them.
Watch Nicole demonstrate "How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth"
More Information on Brushing Your Pet's Teeth
Pet Tooth Care from Your Vet
- Your vet needs to look at your puppy's or kitten's mouth during each visit to ensure that the teeth are developing normally and that the gums are healthy.
- As your pet gets older, intra-oral xrays in anesthetized animals are essential to diagnosis and treatment of dental disease. Remembering that your pets grow older much faster than humans and so even checking their teeth once a year is equivalent to checking your every 7 years!
Your Pet's Teeth Need Veterinary Help When You Notice:
- Bad breath - Dogs and cats will have breath that will smell of dog and cats things. This scent is distinctly different from "rotten bad breath" that smells rotten or foul and indicates gum disease. Most dental diseases occur below the gum line and therefore would not be visible to owners. However your nose will notice if the smell is no longer a normal 'dog' or 'cat' scent. With this in mind, get to know the smell of your pet's mouth. A small whiff will tell you what you need to know.
- Difficulty chewing - Animals that cannot chew have dental disease. It's that simple. Rotting teeth and infected gums cause pain which can prevent your pet from chewing their food, and compromise their nutrition. If they aren't chewing their food, then there is something wrong in their mouth.
- There are no normal growths in an animal's mouth. Therefore if you see a growth in your pet's mouth, you need to take them to see the vet and have it biopsied.
Things You May Not Know About Your Pet's Teeth
- Dogs and cats with dental disease and oral pain will usually continue to eat because the alternative for them is starvation. They do not know that bad teeth can be removed and the pain will go away.
- All growths in the mouth are abnormal and need to be biopsied.
- Chewing on bones or other hard objects (cow hooves, bully sticks, hard nylon bones) can fracture or otherwise damage teeth.