Fido Needs Dental Care Too, Doggonit!

February isn’t just for your human children.  It’s also National Pet Dental Health Month and just like your two-legged family members, your furry friends also need to have their teeth and gums looked after.

Say No to Dog Breath

Bad breath is not funny, even for a dog or cat.  Heck, even guinea pigs deserve having a stink free mouth.  Because bacteria gives off volatile sulfur compounds in pets just like people, the first sign of a problem might be a yucky smelling mouth.  It may be hard at first to get your pooch use to brushing, but it’s an important step towards a healthy mouth.  Just make sure to use water or a dog safe product.  Fluoride is not a good idea!!! There are also cool products like the OraPup, which is a tongue cleaning tool made just for dogs.  Cleaning their tongue on a regular basis really helps remove bacteria from that textured surface.  With the entire licking dogs like to do on your face, it’s worth the effort.

Chew On This, Not That

Gnawing on toys made out of vet-approved fabric, nylon and rawhide will make them happy and clean their teeth all at once.  Those materials work like a toothbrush so while they are getting rid of pent up energy; the soft plaque is being removed from the teeth and gums. Just like children, your pets may want to chew on unsafe items, so watch them closely.  Plastic bottles, shoes and toys can injure them or may be a choking hazard.

Pet Inspection Time

Once a week or so, you should take a look at your pet’s teeth and gums.  Even though they aren’t eating food high in sugar (hopefully), they can still get infections and periodontal disease just like you.  Check for loose teeth, red or swollen gums and food trapped in between.  Animals can also get mouth sores and tumors, which need treatment.  An annual vet check-up will include a mouth exam and it’s best to have your pet’s teeth cleaned when the doctor sees tartar buildup.  A healthy mouth means a much healthier body.

So, remember that your pet can have dental problems just like you, but with a little patience and a lot of love, they can also have a bright and healthy mouth just like you.  Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your pet in tip top shape?  Share your ideas with us!