Your pets’ oral health is crucial to his/hers overall well-being. Keeping your pets’ mouth healthy will not only make them happy; but you as well! With all the confusing information on the internet, we have created a brief list of “Do’s and Don’ts” to keep in mind.
~ DO Brush Daily: Nothing can compare to a daily teeth brushing to keep a mouth healthy! Introduce the toothbrush as early as possible and slowly brush in a circular motion – making sure you reach every tooth.
~ DO Schedule Regular Vet Visits: Most veterinarians recommend an examination every six months. One of those reasons is to make sure your pet is not developing any oral infection or an accumulation of plaque and tartar.
~ Don’t Ignore Bad Breath: This is the most common symptom of oral infection. If you have to turn your head away because of your pets’ bad breath – you need to schedule a dental exam with your veterinarian. It’s possible your pet will need to have a dental cleaning under anesthesia to remove the plaque and clean up the infection.
~ DO Feed a dry food: Feeding a kibble that requires your pet to “crunch” while eating will help to prevent tartar build-up. Some diets are designed with a specific shape, size, or ingredient to help with your pets’ oral health.
***Extra Tip: Small and Toy breeds do NOT need a “Tiny Bites” size kibble. Most small breeds are predisposed to bad teeth and feeding a small kibble does not benefit them.
~ Don’t feed people food: Feeding people food or “Table Scraps” isn’t healthy for your pet. A good quality pet food will have some form of dental health formulated into your pets’ daily feeding. People food will not have this added benefit; which allows plaque and tartar to adhere and accumulate on your pets’ teeth.
~ DO give them chew toys: Take advantage of your dog’s natural instinct to chew and offer a toy that has different textures and surfaces. These will massage the gums and can even help with tartar build-up.
~ Don’t give them “Bones”: Bones that have been cooked become brittle and are more likely to splinter. These small pieces of bone can cause severe irritation and even perforation of the throat, stomach, and intestines. Large “raw” bones can lead to fractured or broken teeth. Hollow “marrow” bones can become caught around the lower jaw and require surgical removal.
~ Don't do “Anesthesia Free” cleanings: Dental cleanings performed without anesthesia give owners a false sense of security in the health of their pet. Many pets will not allow a thorough oral exam while awake and can cause further trauma by moving around with sharp dental instruments inside their mouth. While the teeth may “look” good once the tartar has been chipped off; the majority of infection lies beneath the gum line and will be overlooked unless the pet is under anesthesia. “Anesthesia Free” cleanings are usually performed by someone who is not a licensed veterinarian and will not be able to prescribe any antibiotics after the cleaning. These antibiotics are crucial in fighting the infection that is present under the gum line.
Remember, your pets' oral health is very important! If you are concerned or have questions, consult with your pets' veterinarian. They will help you determine the severity of your pets' oral infection and create a plan for treatment and prevention.
Logue's TLC Pet Hospital is committed to providing exceptional service to our clients, while maintaining the highest standard of medical care to their pets. This commitment includes taking the time to educate our clients and making sure they understand the diagnosis and treatment that has been prescribed.