Tooth brushing in dogs and cats
Your pet looks to you for dental care! At Inner South Veterinary Centre we offer:-
- FREE dental check ups
- FREE samples of Hill’s Canine and Feline Prescription Diet t/d™
- FREE information sheets on dental disease in dogs, cats and rabbits
Pets can’t brush their teeth, but just like people, dogs and cats are at risk for dental problems that can cause pain and serious health issues. Your pet is counting on you for dental care to stay healthy and happy.
Periodontal disease is caused by an accumulation of plaque. Plaque is a colour-less film that contains large amounts of potentially harmful bacteria. If left unchecked, built-up plaque can create infection, destroying your pet’s gums and the tissue and bone that support the teeth. Left untreated, dental disease can cause bad breath and painful infections leading to tooth loss and serious illness. Preventive oral care can reduce plaque and help maintain proper oral health.
You may find it difficult to imagine brushing your pet’s teeth, but daily brushing is the cheapest and most effective way to help your pet avoid dental disease.
By keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy, you are ensuring they have a long and happy life!
- Start slowly with short sessions until your pet gets used to having things touch their teeth. Be patient!
- Have your pet in comfortable position, either on the floor, being cuddled by an helper, or in your lap.
Tips on brushing your pet’s teeth
- Introduce a brushing program gradually and early, training may take several days or weeks.
- At first, dip your finger into chicken or beef stock for dogs or tuna water for cats, and rub your finger over the pet’s mouth and teeth.
- Make these initial sessions brief and positive.
- Introduce gauze cloth on your finger with the same beef or tuna flavour and begin rubbing the teeth in a circular motion.
- Before graduating to a soft-bristle children’s toothbrush, put a small amount of toothpaste specifically designed for pets on your finger and allow the pet to taste it.
- Finally, apply a small dab of pet toothpaste on a moist toothbrush and allow your pet to lick the bristles. Begin brushing gently at a 45? angle away from the gum line.
- NB toothpaste designed for people contains ingredients that may upset your pet’s stomach, use only animal toothpastes or just plain water.
- Repeat daily to twice weekly to maintain clean and healthy teeth.
Reward the good behaviour with plenty of treats and praise!
If tooth brushing is not for you or your pet is not one of those types:
Feeding for a healthy mouth is a great alternative.
Brushing may be difficult, but using a pet food specially formulated to clean teeth, such as Hill’s Prescription Diet™ t/d™ pet food, makes effective home dental care as easy as feeding your pet. Ask us about the dental pet food options available for your pet.
Professional dental cleaning
Part of your pet’s treatment plan may include a professional dental cleaning under carefully monitored anaesthesia. Careful probing and charting takes place with meticulous evaluation of every tooth. Ultrasonic scaling and polishing is performed with extraction of teeth as required.
If you think that your pet would benefit from a dental health check, tooth brushing, or professional dental cleaning book in for a FREE dental check today.