In order to ensure your pet stays healthy, it’s important to clean their teeth on a regular basis. Dogs and cats can easily develop tartar buildup if they don’t brush regularly.
This can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums, which can spread throughout the body and cause health problems in other organs as well.
To keep your pet healthy, follow these steps when brushing their teeth.
Toothbrushes for Pets
Pets need dental care too, so it is important to brush their teeth. Regular tooth brushing can help maintain a healthy oral environment for your pet by removing harmful plaque.
Make sure you have a toothbrush with soft bristles (designed specifically for pets) on hand as well as canine toothpaste. It is not recommended that you use human toothpaste because the ingredients may irritate the delicate mouth tissue of your pet.
Give them one minute or two to let the toothpaste do its work before rinsing. Afterwards, be sure to reward them with some tasty treats!
Remember, all animals are different when it comes to toothbrushing time. It might take more time for a small dog than for a large dog.
If you notice any signs of distress from your pet when trying to brush their teeth, stop immediately and consult with your veterinarian.
Toothpaste for Pets
The best pet toothpaste brands on the market are made from natural ingredients like vegetable glycerin, purified water, hydrogen peroxide and different essential oils that not only freshen your pet’s breath but also keep their teeth healthy.
To use toothpaste for pets:
Add one teaspoon of toothpaste for pets (not human toothpaste) onto a wet toothbrush.
Brush your pet’s teeth by starting at the back of the mouth and finishing with their front incisors. Be sure to brush all surfaces of their teeth.
Try brushing your pet’s teeth once or twice a week.
Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for both you and your pet. Not only will it help prevent bad breath, it will also help avoid serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and even respiratory infections because bacteria in the mouth can travel through blood vessels into other parts of the body.
It’s also important to monitor what they eat, which includes watching out for sugar-free gum and sugarless candy, which may contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can be toxic to dogs.
Tips on How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
- Wet the toothbrush with a little water, then swish it around in your dog’s mouth. The goal is just to get it moist, not wet.
- Gently move the toothbrush back and forth over your dog’s teeth for about 20 seconds at a time, using gentle circular motions.
- Avoid using too much pressure or brushing too hard because this can cause sensitive gums to bleed.
- Spend as much time on the outside of your dog’s front teeth as you do on the inside (where most of the tartar will be).
- Be sure to brush your pet’s molars which are in the back of their mouths; these are where plaque tends to collect on dogs’ teeth
- Brush all four sides of each tooth and be sure not to miss any hidden spots!
- Repeat steps one through six for the rest of your dog’s teeth.
- A dry toothbrush can also be used if you’re out of toothpaste
- Always give an extra dose of praise when you’re done
- For small pets like rabbits, it may take more than one person to help hold them still enough to brush their teeth.
If you’re able to use toothpaste, apply a small amount onto the bristles of the toothbrush before starting. Gently scrub from top to bottom, being careful not to press too hard on delicate gum tissue and don’t forget those back molars! Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Remember that dogs and cats have different diets which might affect how often they need dental care.
Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about how often your pet should have its teeth brushed!
The Importance of Proper Dental Care
Maintaining proper dental hygiene for your pet is one of the most important factors in keeping their health on track.
Even if your pet does not have any obvious dental problems, it is a good idea to schedule a veterinarian appointment every six months to help ensure the gums and teeth are healthy.
In addition, there are many things you can do at home that will help keep their mouth clean. One thing to avoid is feeding them too much dry food which can cause tooth decay because there is no water involved with this type of food.
Might want to check with vet before giving them anything from the list below: salt water rinses, toothpaste, dog chew toys/teething rings, tartar control products such as Dentaflex or L-LYSINE FACTOR tablets.
A really fun way to brush their teeth is by using two clean fingers (your thumb and index finger) along with some wet kibble – kind of like finger painting!
And lastly, just remember to brush their tongues as well since they can accumulate bacteria there too.
Gums Affect the Whole Body
Dental problems can be a serious concern for pets, even more so than people. Animals are known to suffer from tooth decay, gum disease, and even heart problems as a result of poor dental hygiene.
For this reason, it is important that owners make regular trips to the vet for checkups. Dogs should be taken to the vet at least once every six months.
Cats should go in twice a year because they tend to hide their pain better than dogs do. It is crucial to keep on top of any health issues early in order to prevent major problems down the line.
By taking your pet to the vet regularly, you will be able to monitor its teeth and gums in order to catch any potential diseases before they worsen.
It may seem like a hassle now, but if you have been neglecting your pet’s dental health then it may lead to bigger consequences later on.
A good way to get started with brushing your pet’s teeth is by using some type of toothpaste designed specifically for animals.
Some veterinarians also recommend feeding dry food rather than canned food because it helps clean out tartar buildup on the teeth and mouth by chewing off plaque.
Checkups with a Vet
The best way to keep your pet’s teeth clean is by scheduling an annual checkup with a veterinarian. These checkups will include an oral exam, looking for signs of oral infection like plaque, calculus (also known as tartar), gingivitis, stomatitis or halitosis.
Plaque can cause cavities on your pet’s teeth that result in tooth loss if not treated. Tartar builds up when the plaque calcifies into hard lumps which need to be removed regularly.
To avoid these problems it is important to brush your pet’s teeth at least once a week with special canine toothpaste and a finger brush.
When brushing use circular motions around the gum line then use side-to-side strokes on the chewing surfaces of their molars.
Use short back and forth strokes on their incisors (front teeth). Be sure to use a toothbrush designed specifically for pets, preferably one made of soft bristles.
Do not allow pets chew anything other than food until after they have been brushed; this may lead to dental issues down the road.
If you have any questions about how often you should brush your pet’s teeth please consult with your vet.
The most important thing you can do for your furry friend is keeping them healthy from head to tail!
Suggested Books For Kids About Dogs
Get your child a copy of the book Brown Dog, Brown Dog, What Do You See? by Eric Carle. This illustrated story introduces children to colors, shapes, animals and occupations in an engaging way.
The brown dog is trying to find something that he sees every day but can’t identify. The text is simple enough for preschoolers to read themselves with help from parents or caregivers.
It can also be used as a springboard for discussion about what you see every day.
Suggested Books For Kids About Cats: A great book about cats is Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes.
In this sweet and poetic picture book, kittens play under the full moon until one realizes how far away it really is. He knows his mother will come soon to put him back into his warm bed.
But while she’s not here, there are so many new things to explore!
If your child loves books about kittens, check out Kisses for Little Kitty by Margaret Wise Brown.
If you’re looking for books with human characters who care deeply about their pets, consider Emily Littleswift And Her Adventures With Animals by Patricia Reilly Giff.
Emily helps her grandma take care of a wide variety of animals–from exotic birds to zoo gorillas–in the most caring ways possible.