As a pet owner, you want the best for your furry friend. This includes taking care of your pet’s oral hygiene and ensuring that your pup is protected from any periodontal disease. Just like humans, your pet’s teeth also accumulate plaque – that’s a combination of food and bacteria that forms along the gum line. Sounds gross, right?
Taking regular care of pet dental hygiene is essential to ensure that this plaque does not harden into tartar and cause gum and teeth disease. Over time, this can also enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and other organs. But remember – you must not use human toothpaste on your dog’s teeth!
Most kinds of human toothpaste contain Xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener and is toxic to dogs. It can cause a drop in blood sugar and potential liver damage. Specialized dog toothpaste contains scrubbing agents and enzymes to lessen the accumulation of plaque and tartar, and that’s what you need to use for your pet.
Many pet toothpaste options are available that are safe to use, generally at your local pet store. Dental care is essential, but as with everything, you need to know the right products to use for pet dentistry so that you don’t cause any further damage.
Let’s take a look at how you can brush your dog’s (or cat’s) teeth simply and safely!
A canine toothbrush is the best option for brushing your dog’s teeth. It has a long curved handle that makes it easier to grip and reach all the teeth – even those at the back. In the case of a cat, you can use a feline toothbrush or dental sponge.
Make sure the spot where you choose to brush your pet’s teeth is well-lit and has no distractions for your pet. If your pup (or kitty) is in an uncomfortable position or is scared of the toothbrush, then your job’s going to be much harder, and they may even nip you! Also, make sure that your pet is comfortable with having his mouth handled and don’t try to brush until you’re sure of their reaction.
Introduce your pet to the equipment by first gently touching his teeth (both front and back) with the toothbrush and allow him to familiarize himself with it without you brushing yet. Take a small amount of toothpaste and let your dog sniff and lick it to get accustomed to the taste and smell.
Gently lift your dog’s lips and start brushing his front teeth. Keep brushing along the sides and to the back. Then brush the backsides of the teeth gently. Now hold down the bottom lip and repeat the process with the bottom teeth.
Make sure you keep an eye (or ear) out for any signs of discomfort from your pet. If you feel they’re in pain or are afraid, stop. The brushing process should be a stress-free one for your pet, not a traumatic one. If your pet is scared, or if you feel there’s too much tartar accumulated that your brushing won’t be able to remove, consider visiting a veterinary clinic in New Hamburg for a professional to handle the task.
Make sure you keep praising your pet throughout for an excellent job of sitting quietly while you do the necessary work. Praise and words of comfort work well in soothing the pet down and letting you do the brushing without any frisky or aggressive behaviour.
When all is done, make sure you offer your dog or cat their favourite toy, treat, or activity to positively reinforce brushing time!
Pet Dental Care in New Hamburg
Visit a pet clinic for any dental problems your pet might experience and get your pet examined by a veterinarian.