Brushing Your Pet's Teeth

Dental care is crucial to maintaining your pet's good health. Dental disease is the most common problem seen in our pet today. More than 85% of all dogs and cats over 3 years of age presented to veterinarians are affected by dental problems.

Periodontal disease is the cause of your pet's bad breath and painful mouth , and may cause infections of the kidneys, liver, and heart. Daily dental care at home for your animal just like the rest of the family is recommended. It is best to begin at home at an early age (8-12 weeks), but visible tartar should be removed during a thorough dental cleaning. 

A toothbrush and pet toothpaste is all that's needed. Never use human toothpaste. Many human toothpastes are sweetened with xylitol, a sugar substitute also found in some sugar-free gum, throat lozenges, and chewable vitamins. Most human toothpaste include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs and It can also cause severe liver damage.

The plaque on those choppers takes 24 hours to begin converting to tartar (that hard brown stuff on the sides of the teeth), so you only need to brush them once daily. Chicken and beef flavored canine toothpastes are safe and even dental treats can help. If you find brushing impossible there are other products you can use to maintain good oral health. Greenies, bully sticks and other dental treats are available for dogs and cats. These are enzymatically treated to help remove bacteria before it builds up and turns to tartar that can not be removed with simple brushing. 

Remember to always give a small treat at the end of each session to make it rewarding.