When was the last time you checked your pet’s teeth? Periodontal disease is the most common problem diagnosed by vets and since February is Pet Dental Health Month, it’s the perfect time to focus on your pet’s teeth.
The problem is gum disease
By the age of two, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of gum disease, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Gum disease can:
- Lead to pain
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Generate disorders such as diabetes, kidney disease and cardiac problems in the long term if it spreads unchecked.
How to brush your pets’ teeth
Gum disease can be easily avoided with proper dental care. If you’ve already tried brushing your pet’s teeth without success, don’t give up! The key is to slowly introduce him to tooth brushing and to reward him for each step. Follow these tips for dogs or cats:
- Slowly introduce your pet to toothpaste – Put a little pet toothpaste on his lips and teeth with your finger. Let him taste it, then reward him with a treat. Do this every day for about a week.
- Let him lick the toothbrush – After a week of pet toothpaste, graduate to letting him lick the paste off a toothbrush or gum brush. Do this for a few days and reward him each time.
- Brush his teeth – Lift his lips and gently brush his teeth in small, circular motions and along the gum line at a 45% angle. Focus on the outside of his teeth: the side touching the cheek gets the most plaque. Clean his teeth daily for best results and don’t forget the reward!
- Yearly cleaning - Just as you get an annual dental exam, your dog should get one as well. See if your vet offers a Pet Dental Health Month discount in February.
Teeth cleaning tools
- Dental tools include toothbrushes for pets and specially formulated toothpaste.
- Don’t use human toothpaste as the foaming agents will upset his stomach. Also, fluoride shouldn’t be used on puppies under 6 months old.
- Use brushes with soft bristles and long handles or small gum brushes that fit over your finger.
Make your pet’s teeth tingle and shine with dental care tools from Pet Supermarket. Drop by a local store or visit our website for an assortment of dog dental care and cat dental care products.