Do You Really Need to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth?
Do You Really Need to Brush Your Pet's Teeth?
Imagine what it would be like if you never-ever brushed your teeth. Yuck, right? Unfortunately, that icky-sticky, unhealthy state is a reality for most pets because most pet owners simply aren’t aware that they should be caring for their cats’ and dogs’ teeth.
The Importance of Dental Care for Pets
When a pet’s teeth are neglected, they accumulate plaque and tartar which creates pockets between the teeth and gums where bacteria thrive. This leads to an oral bacterial infection called periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease causes oral problems like pain, discomfort, unhealthy gums, loose teeth, and tooth loss.
Left unaddressed, it can also lead to systemic health problems in pets when oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, wreaking havoc on a pet’s organs. Eventually, periodontal disease causes organ damage, organ disease, and early death.
By age 3, an estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have already developed periodontal disease. Thankfully, you can protect your pet with preventative dental care (a combination of at-home care and professional cleanings).
How Often Should You Brush Your Pet's Teeth?
Ideally, a pet’s teeth should be brushed every day or three times a week at a minimum. This task can be daunting to many pet owners, but there are plenty of products available to simplify caring for your pet’s teeth.
To brush, start with your fingers only and focus on just the outside of your pet’s teeth. Once your pet’s used to your fingers, add a pet-friendly toothpaste. When your pet’s used to the toothpaste, start using a dog or cat toothbrush or finger brush. Throughout the training process, provide plenty of treats and love to make teeth brushing a positive experience. If your pet won’t accept a toothbrush, try using pet dental wipes, instead.
You can also improve your pet’s dental health by providing them dental-friendly treats and chew toys. Be sure to look for VOHC-approved products.
Pet Dentistry with Our Mobile Veterinarian in Richmond
If you’re ready to start taking better care of your pet’s teeth to safeguard their health, we encourage you to schedule a pet dentistry appointment with our mobile veterinarian serving Richmond and the surrounding areas. We provide dental care for cats and dogs and will help you safeguard your pet’s teeth, gums, and systemic health.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact Capital Home Veterinary Care today.