The Importance of Your Pet’s Dental Health

While there will always be someone out there who tries to tell you that your pet isn’t actually smiling (we know better than that), your pet’s dental health is something that should be taken seriously. From bad breath to gum disease, proper oral hygiene can help protect your pet from a wide range of health problems. While you don’t need to take Fido with you to your next dentist appointment, there are several things you can do to help your furry friend maintain fresh breath and a healthy smile.

Warning Signs to Watch

While our dogs and cats may have lost their desire to hunt for anything beyond a game of fetch or a sunny place to nap, it’s still important that their teeth are kept in excellent condition. Here are a few things you can keep an eye on to ensure that your pet’s mouth is healthy:

  • The Smell Test: While it probably won’t smell like a bouquet of flowers, your pet’s breath shouldn’t be especially offensive either. An unusually strong odor may be a sign of something more serious.
  • Lips and Gums: With your dog or cat facing you, gently push back their lips and check their gums for any swelling. The gums should be pink, not red or white, and teeth should not have any brownish tartar.
  • The Tooth Fairy: Just like us, dogs and cats have two sets of teeth in their lifetime, and will lose their baby teeth to make way for their adult set. However, once their adult teeth have grown in, watch for loose teeth as a sign of oral health trouble.

Help at Home – Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Just like your teeth need regular brushing and flossing, there are things you can do for your pet to ensure that their pearly whites stay healthy. Specially made toothbrushes and toothpaste are available for dogs and cats so you can safely give their teeth a good scrubbing. Human toothpaste can be toxic to animals, so be sure to use a product that has been formulated specifically for dogs or cats. You will first need to get your pet used to the idea of having their teeth brushed by gently massaging their lips or gums and applying a small amount of the pet-safe toothpaste for them to get used to the taste. Once they are used to this new sensation, introduce their specially made pet toothbrush to adjust to before brushing with toothpaste. Regular brushing of your pet’s teeth can help ward off bad breath as well as more serious dental health issues.

Chew On This – Food and Toys to Keep Their Mouth Clean

Every pet loves to chew, whether it’s on a meal, a treat, or a new toy, and when it comes to your pet’s oral hygiene, chewing on the right thing can have a big impact. Not only will chew toys satisfy your dog or cat’s natural desire to gnaw, they can help by massaging their gums and removing soft tartar as well. There are also specially made foods and dental treats available for your pet that can help control plaque and tartar buildup.

Want Help with Your Pet’s Dental Health?

If you would like to learn more about keeping your pet’s smile bright and their mouth healthy, visit our friendly and knowledgeable staff today! To learn more about how Mebane Pet Clinic can assist with your pet’s oral hygiene and overall well-being, call (919) 304-5200 today to schedule an appointment.