Don’t Brush It Off: 3 Ways to Improve Your Pet’s Dental Health
From the walking to poop scooping, you’re already doing plenty to keep your pets happy and healthy, right?
But maintaining your pet’s dental health is another responsibility that needs to be added to your pet care to-do list, especially since oral health problems can link to other health issues related to the kidney, heart, and liver.
Going to the vet for a teeth cleaning annually isn’t enough to protect your pets from the risks of poor dental hygiene, and the costs for these cleanings can be eye-popping; your pet may also have to be anesthetised. So in honour of Dental Awareness Month, we want to show you the various ways for you to take care of your pet’s oral hygiene.
Let's start with a Simple 3-Step Guide for Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
We highly recommend that you create a dental care system for your pet so that you can maintain their oral health. If you’re new to cleaning your pet’s teeth, here’s our easy-to-follow guide with just three steps:
1. Gradually introduce your pet to teeth cleaning.
Avoid jumping right into a teeth-cleaning routine with your pet. Go to a calm and quiet place that doesn’t include distractions for your pet, and begin the initiation for your companion’s teeth cleaning. Start by dipping a finger into beef bouillon/chicken broth (for dogs) or tuna juice (for cats). Place one hand over your pet’s muzzle and one underneath the jaw. Use your thumbs to push back the lips to reveal your pet’s teeth. Start from the back teeth and work your way to the front on both sides. Make sure to rub your pet’s gum line and teeth in circular motions; the gum line is important because it’s the area where bacteria and food particles gather and create plaque.
2. Time for the real deal: Getting your pet used to the brush.
Once you get your pet/s accustomed to the brushing actions from the previous step, you can move on to this next step and introduce them to the toothbrush and toothpaste. To do this, first put pet toothpaste or gel on your finger; you can use a finger toothbrush in this step. Rub the paste on your pet’s lips and teeth and let them lick it off; you can also let them lick off your finger. Do this step for at least 5-7 days before you move on to the toothbrush.
3. Using a Toothbrush
When you’re ready to include the toothbrush, put some toothpaste on the brush and let your pet remove it from the brush; this helps them feel more comfortable using the toothbrush over time. Once your dog or cat has accepted the toothbrush and allowed you to use it on them, start brushing in small intervals (approximately 10-20 seconds). Work your way up to about 30-90 seconds. The brush should be at a 45-degree angle and rub against your pet’s gum line as well as their teeth for a thorough cleaning.
Here are a few pet teeth-cleaning options for you - please don't use human toothpaste!
Dentipet Toothpaste for Cats & Dogs + Bonus Finger Toothbrush
Greenies for Cats (our cat, Lilah, loves these!) - No toothbrush required!
Petstages Dental Cherries for Cats (it's a toy, not a real cherry!)
SavourLife Dog Dental Chews - 50% Of profits go to dog rescues
Here's a quick video with some excellent tips on how to brush your pet's teeth.