- Brushing your dog’s teeth is the best. Just like in humans, the number one thing you can do for your pet’s oral health is brush those pearly whites! The easiest way to get your pet used to brushing is to start while they are young, i.e. puppy or kitten. That being said, old pets can learn new tricks too! They key is baby steps and make it a rewarding experience.
- Dental diets are a helpful product for combating plaque and tartar. Most of these diets are formulated with a denser, larger kibble that physically scrubs the teeth, along with a wash or rinse that help control the bacteria in the mouth, which is the first building block of plaque.
- Dental chews are a fun way for your cat or dog to clean their own teeth. Dental treats and chews work by the same means as dental diets. Be sure to read the packaging as they should have a VOHC seal to ensure they are actually doing the trick! Also, most dental chews are meant to be given daily, keep that in mind when portioning your cat or dog’s food for the day.
- Water additives are one of the easiest ways to help improve your cat or dog’s oral health. Most come as concentrates that you dilute into your pet’s everyday drinking water. Healthymouth™ is the additive that we, as a clinic, have found the most beneficial for our canine and feline patients.
- Dental toys! Our favorite is the KONG dental line. They have nice, deep ridges that can be filled with pet friendly toothpaste or a tasty snack. Your dog then chews on the toy while the ridges scrub the gums and teeth clean.
What we do not recommend is antlers, bones or hard plastic chews. Although they are marketed as toys that help with dental care, your dog is more likely to fracture a tooth then receive any sort of dental care benefit.
If you have any questions about what you can do for your pet’s mouth, give us a call!
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By: Caitlin Johnston, RVT