While you so adore your furry friends, and take utmost care of it when it comes to the right kind of food, timely appointments with the vet, or even those fun moments of play and cuddle, do you also pay attention to your dog’s dental hygiene?
It may sound unbelievable, but it is true. Just as humans, your pets too require a dental routine.
What are the problems your pets can face due to poor dental hygiene?
Poor dental hygiene could lead to several problems including bacterial or fungal infections that your pets may suffer in silence, and eventually may lead to other complications. Good care of their teeth and gums could prevent a variety of issues ranging from bad breath, periodontal diseases, painful gums, to other more serious conditions such as kidney diseases, liver diseases, joint problems, and cardio-thoracic conditions.
How to go about your furry friend’s dental care?
Pet oral care may begin with something they may love to do- gnaw! Most long chews should get rid of the plaque and dirt. Rawhide or knucklebones would be natural options that are gentle on the teeth, and works best too. However, it is best to stick to something softer so as to prevent tooth fracture. Of course, there are artificial bones and chew toys available. Make sure to pick one that is made of rubber or nylon, and is big enough to prevent them from being swallowed or poses as a choking hazard.
What is made available for your pet’s dental hygiene?
Pet toothbrushes are designed in a way that you can slip on to your finger, and it is angled in a way to reach all the areas of the mouth and accordingly all the teeth of your pet. A normal human toothbrush could damage your pet’s gums, and it may cause pain.
That is why it is best to start with a piece of damp gauze, and gradually move on to using a brush. A good place to start with would be reaching just behind the lips and your pet will co-operate too!
Like the presence of toothbrushes, there are also toothpastes for pets too. It is highly recommended, and in fact, this is the only thing to be used to help with your pet’s oral hygiene. Human toothpastes contain abrasives and detergents that may not really suit your pet and this could lead to unwanted complications. Also pet toothpastes come in flavors that your pets will love!
Apart from the obvious brushing or wiping, there are other options in the market that cater to animal oral hygiene. Oral sprays, additives to food that work like toothpastes, and wet wipes specifically designed to take care of your pet’s teeth are some of them.
As much as all of these are taken care of at home, it is important to take your pet to the vet to check on its oral health regularly. Bad breath, redness of the gums, or the build-up of tartar are red flags that should prompt you to make a trip to the vet. The older your pet is, the more attention it needs. A full dental clean-up once or twice a year at the vet’s would also be very beneficial.
While good oral health can begin at home, be cautious of how it is done. At the vet, stay calm and keep your pet away from worry. A friendly treat at the end of the routine would double up as a comforter. Always ask questions about before and after dental care for your pet and what procedures will help them cope best.