Chew on This! Dental Advice for your Pet Dog

December 31, 2009

Chew on This! Dental Advice for your Pet Dog

When humans go to the dentist for our bi-yearly checkups we all get the lecture from our vet about flossing and brushing our pet dogs at home. Imagine if you never brushed your teeth, if all your food was hard and crunchy but your gums were swollen and sore! That’s how it can be for our pets.

Dental disease, periodontal disease and gingivitis have been a huge issue for both cats and dogs. Although some pets take to having their teeth brushed, removing all the tartar and plaque can only be obtained though a dental prophylactic cleaning. Most veterinarians recommend pets to have their teeth cleaned yearly. This process involves a routine blood panel to make sure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia. This is very important to confirm that your pets liver and kidneys are functioning properly to process the anesthetic. Your vet will also perform a general exam. Your vet will then anesthetize your pet under full general anesthesia and using a hand-scaler will scale all surfaces of each tooth to remove any plaque and tartar. The vet will scale under the gum line to help prevent gingivitis. Routine cleanings while under anesthesia will allow a very thorough cleaning and also allow the doctor to see full inside your pet dog or cat’s mouth, checking for broken teeth, masses in the mouth or any other oral issues.

There are different ways to maintain your pet’s teeth at home. Dental chews are a great way to occupy their time and clean their teeth at the same time. It is best to choose chews that are the appropriate size and texture for your pet. Some chews are kibble/treat like and some are bone like. Water additive is an easy way to help with bad breath. Most water additives contain enzymes that neutralize bacteria in the pet’s mouth to prevent bad breath. Brushing your pet’s teeth is a spectacular way to keep plaque and tartar build up away. Although it is easiest to start when a pet is young, a lot of older pets will come to tolerate teeth brushing. Some pet even like the taste of the poultry flavored toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste on your pet. One way to get pets used to having their teeth brushed is to start with toothpaste on your finger and rubbing along the inside of the mouth for a short time. Doing this for just a few minutes each day will help adjust your pet to having things in their mouth. Then you can take the next step to a finger type toothbrushes and then move onto a regular brush. These activities will also help build patience if your pet ever has to go to the vet with an issue with their mouth, such as a broken tooth or object stuck in their mouth. It will be easier on the pet during the exam if they are used to having their mouth touched.

The benefits to good oral health range from better breath, better appetites all the way to helping prevent kidney and heart issues. The bacteria in a pet’s mouth can make it from the mouth to the blood stream. It is proven that pets that have had their oral health needs maintained live longer, pain free lives.

If you are ever in the need of pet sitting or pet services most sitters will take the time to follow your instructions on the dental care route you have chosen for your pets. Having different people handle your pet dog or cat will help prepare them for a long life with all of their teeth. When meeting the pet sitting company you chose, make sure they offer these services and be sure to show your sitter the technique you use when handling your pets mouth. Together we can make sure our pets live their lives to the fullest.

This article was written by Deva Samuels, owner of Fetch! Pet Care of West Seattle. Deva can be reached at 206-965-9851. Fetch! Pet Care is the largest national pet care company in the United States; serving 38 states in more than 2,000 cities and towns.

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4 Responses to “Chew on This! Dental Advice for your Pet Dog”

  1. Barb Gates Says:

    Good information — I need to do better at flossing, myself, AND take better care of my dogs’ teeth! There are some great hints in this article. Thanks.

  2. Kate Zavala Says:

    Hi, loved it! Important teeth and gum care isn’t just for humans! And, just like humans, the bacteria cannot be toxic in the blood stream,heart,kidneys too! Let’s all keep grinning with healthy teeth and gums 🙂
    Kate Zavala,GM
    FPC Memorial-West Houston

  3. Kimberly Louloudis Says:

    Great advice!

  4. Angel Cryan Says:

    I was trying to find more information on this topic this morning when I discovered your really fascinating post…thanks a ton for writing this. I will definitely be checking up on your blog and coming back for more.By the way how long have you been blogging? 🙂


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