Pet Dental Care 101

One thing that pet parents often overlook is their pet’s teeth, and it’s easy to see why. Dental care can often seem like a difficult and daunting task, and it’s easy to forget. With our busy lives and schedules, often times our pet’s dental health gets overlooked. It’s important to know that taking a few minutes out of your day to care for your pet’s teeth can make an incredibly positive impact on their overall health.

Why should I be concerned about my pet’s dental health?

If your pet has dental problems, it can lead to expensive treatments and other health problems down the road. In fact, dental disease in the mouth can spread to other internal organs, causing disease elsewhere in the body.

What are the signs and symptoms of dental problems and dental disease?

When it comes to dental disease there are a few things that you should be on the lookout for, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Broken and/or loose teeth
  • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • Pain in or around the mouth
  • Redness of gums or bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
  • Teeth that are discolored and/or covered in tartar

I think my pet has dental disease, now what?

If you notice any of the above signs or symptoms, contact your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s dental disease. You can also download the Fuzzy Pet Health App and send us a picture of your pet’s teeth. It’s completely FREE. We can help explain dental disease, the process of cleanings and why it may be necessary for your pet, how to prevent dental disease, and more.

What can I do to prevent dental disease and help my pet have great dental health?

  1. Brush Your Pet’s Teeth: We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at least 3x a week. Brushing less than three times a week makes it far less effective in slowing tartar buildup. While pets can initially be fussy about getting their teeth brushed, they often will get used to the process and even enjoy it… IF you are persistent and make it a good experience.
  2. Oral Examinations: As a part of your pet’s wellness exams, there should also be an oral examination where a veterinarian inspects your pet’s teeth.
  3. Dental Chews: Dental chews can be a great way to reduce and prevent the buildup of tartar on your pet’s teeth.
  4. Oral Water Additive: An oral water additive is another option for helping reduce the buildup of tartar. It’s simple – just add it to your pet’s water.
  5. Dental Cleaning: Dental disease hides in the places of your pet’s mouth that you cannot see, like in the spaces between teeth and under the gumline. Depending on the level of preventive care that you routinely provide, we recommend that every pet has a full dental cleaning once every year or two from a full-service veterinarian, especially for pets over 3 years of age. How often your pet will need a cleaning depends on age, breed, how often you brush their teeth and provide dental chews, and what type of food they eat.

What dental products should I be using for my pet?

We suggest using dental care products that are recommended by the VOHC (veterinary oral health council). You can go here for a full list of approved products of dogs, and here for a list of approved products for cats. Some of our suggested products include:

Additional Resources on Dental Care

More questions about how to keep your pet’s mouth healthy? We’re just a click away to help. Download our FREE app and chat with a veterinarian about how to prevent tartar build-up, ask about dental cleanings, and anything else.

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