If your family pooch or kitty can brush his or her own teeth, or sits patiently to allow you to do so you can stop here and start posting the video to YouTube for us to see. Fortunately for your family pet, he or she has you to keep their teeth healthy in other ways and save them from a lot of pain and discomfort. Many with dogs would say “I don’t need to take care of my dog’s teeth!”. “They’re wolf descendants, Wolves never went to dentists.” Though this may be true, this overlooks about 20,000 years of evolution and the fact that a lot of wild animals today suffer from terrible dental conditions causing significant pain and discomfort.
What can I do to help maintain my family pet’s oral health and prevent problems in the future?
Firstly, be aware of any risk factors for your pet’s oral health. Just like our human members of the family, oral health for our pet is very important. Although most dogs suffer from periodontal disease at some point in their lives, certain breeds tend to be more severely affected: Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Dachshunds, and Pomeranians, to name just a few. These dogs will need more advanced care earlier in their lives than other breeds. It’s estimated that over 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have some kind of dental disease causing decay and discomfort, so it’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge needed and have prevention plans in place to help keep your best friend happy and able to chew comfortably throughout their life.
Next, set the stage for good oral health. Chat with your vet at the next check-up about their recommendations for your pet. Tooth brushing for a family pet may seem impossible or strange at first, but some vets truly feel it’s the best thing you can do at home to help your pet’s oral health. Pet friendly toothbrushes and toothpastes in flavours such as chicken make the experience more palatable for pets. In addition, dental diets, bones and dental chews or toys recommended by your regular vet can help reduce the accumulation of tartar and plaque in pets.
Thirdly, always follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for regular professional cleaning. On average, dogs and cats benefit from dental cleaning once a year starting at the age of 3, but every pet needs his or her own individual dental program. Some cats and dogs might need less frequent cleanings, others more. Your veterinarian will work with you to decide what’s best for your pet.
Lastly, keeping a watchful eye on your pet’s teeth will help you catch problems early. The following are the most common signs of oral disease:
- Yellow-brown tartar
- Bleeding gums
- Red, inflamed gums
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing/dropping food when trying to eat
- Excessive drooling
- Change in eating habits
- Pawing at the mouth or rubbing the face against the floor or furniture
Where can I take my family pet for professional cleaning?
Your regular family vet will be able to make recommendations for your pets personal needs or many of our team members pets visit Four Paw pet grooming in Bardon for grooming and professional teeth cleaning. Teagin and her team are fantastic groomers and open their rooms up to Canine Dental who perform dental hygiene cleans without the need for vet appointments or general anesthetics *There are exceptions to every rule and there are some issues that very occasionally means a dog is not going to cope with anesthetic free dental cleaning, such as dementia (in some elderly dogs) and severe PTSD (often found in with rescue dogs). The procedure involves descaling the teeth surface using only a hand scaling tool with a polish to finish. No ultrasonic vibration or electronic tools are used in the procedure. The process is incredible with the dogs staying so calm for the 90 or so minutes it takes. The results are pearly white teeth and fresh breath, not to mention helping to prevent tooth decay. You can find out more information on their website.
Below are some product and services links we have found to be helpful in caring for our own family pets oral health and general well being.
The Furry Family that completes NB Dental