How clean are your pet’s teeth?
February is Pet Dental Month, and we’re all about helping you ensure your pet’s pearly whites are healthy and clean.
We know brushing your pet’s teeth is probably on the bottom of your to-do list (if it’s there at all) so here are some tips to make everyone smile.
- Set a manageable goal for how many times you will brush per week. Starting off with trying to brush daily is probably unrealistic at first. Try for once per week to start, and then build up to the ideal state, which is daily brushing.
- Buy delicious toothpaste, like beef or chicken-flavored. Use a pea size amount and just let your pet taste it first. Reward right away when they allow you to put it in their mouth.
- Once you have this accomplished, continue testing by using your finger or a small brush with the same small amount (not brushing yet!). Reward again when they allow you to place the brush in their mouth.
- Once they are comfortable with the testing of the toothpaste, you can start brushing their teeth, focusing on the outer surface facing the lip. Many of the brushes are too large for cats, so use an infant finger brush or gauze square.
If your pet absolutely fights the brushing experience, there are additives you can put in their food or water, but make sure they have the “Seal of Acceptance” from the Veterinary Oral Health Council. You can also ask us about dental cleanings the next time you visit. Our doctors can perform a safe cleaning for your pet to prevent dental disease. We also have diets for dental care and treats, so talk to your vet about the different choices available.