Taking Care of your Pet’s Teeth
Toothy Tips and Tricks as told by Emily Broome, PETstock Vet
The thought of making a dental appointment can be nerve wracking, or even nightmare inducing for many humans – but most do it anyway because we know there are benefits to keeping our teeth in tip top condition.
Here Emily Broome from PETstock Vet explains how, just like us, our pet needs regular dental care to ensure their mouth and teeth stay healthy and their breath stays fresh. “Without the ability to brush twice a day, it’s up to us as pet parents to ensure our fur baby’s dental hygiene is maintained,” Emily says.
Dog Dental Care
Dogs have a higher chance of gum disease, A.K.A periodontal disease, than humans as their mouths are far more alkaline, which causes an increased growth of plaque. Plaque contains many things but most importantly, a bacterium which if left untreated, may result in gum disease and infection.
Signs of poor dental health in dogs:
- Bad breath
- Inflamed gums
- Swollen jaw
- Presence of plaque
“Dogs are very good at hiding signs of pain, so it is common for dental disease to go unnoticed for quite some time. It’s for this reason that pet parents should be vigilant in checking their buddy’s mouth and gums regularly, and be aware that – despite popular belief – dogs do not have naturally stinky breath!” Emily says.
Emily also suggests if your dog is displaying any of the above signs, it’s important to seek veterinary attention immediately to determine if there are any other issues at play.
“Dental disease is often treated with a veterinary dental cleaning. This process usually includes screening for any organ problems (due to the bacteria infection) as well as any existing abscesses in the teeth before administering a general anesthetic before giving the teeth a good clean and polish,” Emily says.
Contact your vet for dog dental cleaning costs.
Preventing Dental Disease: Dog Dental Treats, Food and More
There are a range of dog teeth cleaning products available which can significantly reduce your pooch’s chance of experiencing dental problems.
- Dog Toothpaste / Tooth Gel
Just like traditional human toothpaste, these products can be used each day for cleaning your dog’s teeth with a pet-approved toothbrush. Tropiclean Oral Care kits are a great option because they’re equipped with not only the teeth cleaning gel, but two different toothbrushes! The gel removes plaque and tartar and is made in a fresh minty flavor, leaving your dog’s breath smelling great.
- Water Additives
If putting your hands in your dog’s mouth is not your thing (or his), we have you covered. Tropiclean also has a range of liquids designed to be added to your dog’s drinking water. These products reduce plaque and tartar while keeping your dog’s breath smelling fresh.
- Dog Dental Chews & Treats
There are many dental treats available for dogs but one of the most popular is the Greenies range. These treats are a toothbrush shape, specifically designed to reach different areas of your dog’s mouth as they chew, cleaning their teeth and removing plaque and tartar in the process.
- Dry Food
Although your dog may enjoy a wet food-only diet, adding enough dry kibble to be the primary element of your buddy’s meals will actually benefit their dental health. The manual action of chewing the kibble will help clean your dog’s teeth and strengthen their gums. Mixed with their usual wet food, your pooch will love the taste and texture!
Cat Dental Care & Disease
Similar to dogs, cats can also suffer from poor dental hygiene. Gingivitis in cats is a common periodontal problem for felines.
Signs of gingivitis in cats:
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Plaque and tartar on the teeth
If you suspect your cat is displaying signs of dental disease, it’s best to consult your vet immediately. “If dental problems are left untreated, your pet will experience extreme pain and may have difficulty eating, resulting in a loss of condition,” stresses Emily.
Most products available to prevent dental disease in dogs also come in cat varieties.
Head into your local PETstock store where the team will help you identify which products will suit your feline family member.
Caring for Rabbit and Guinea Pigs’ Teeth
One of the most crucial elements to a rabbit or guinea pig’s health care is maintaining their teeth. These pets’ teeth grow throughout their entire life and they will spend much of their time gnawing them down. If your small buddy is not provided with treats and toys to gnaw on, their teeth may become overgrown: resulting in difficulty eating and closing their mouth (or they might just chew on your cage instead!).
Prevent dental problems in your rabbit or guinea pig with:
Ensuring your pet’s dental health stays in tip top condition can be simple, says Emily. “Remember to check their mouth regularly, provide plenty of dental treats and use products that help remove plaque buildup.”
Some information for this article was sourced from: