Let’s talk about dental care. We all know how important it is to care for our teeth. Most of us go to the dentist more often than we go to the doctor, and we’re familiar with the discomfort of dental issues. Unfortunately, many pet owners forget it’s just as important to maintain healthy teeth in our cats and dogs.
There’s a lot a caring owner can do to support the dental health of their pet. As silly as it sounds, one of the best things you can do is brush your pet’s teeth! There are toothpastes that come in flavors dogs and cats love, so that brushing time is also treat time. Start early with your puppy or kitten to get them accustomed to the process, and you’ll be setting your pet up for a lifetime of great oral health.
There are also many varieties of crunchy treats that can help keep an animal’s teeth clean. The crunching and scraping removes some of the build-up on the teeth, so they stay clean and healthy longer.
Even with the best care, most animals will eventually need a professional cleaning. When you bring your pet for his or her yearly wellness exam (I hope everyone is following their New Year’s Resolutions!) your vet will perform a brief dental exam. You can then ask questions about the health of your pet’s mouth and whether a dental cleaning is necessary.
Remember, dental issues can be very painful! Even if they’re not showing it, a broken or chipped tooth is a serious condition, and you should bring your pet to the vet to evaluate whether the tooth should be removed.
Your vet is your pets doctor AND dentist, and they’ll be thrilled to answer any questions about how you can support your pet’s dental health. Because, like you, they know that good dental health supports good overall health, and a healthy smile means a happy pet.