A healthy pet is a happy pet, but one place that pet owners often overlook when it comes to good health is the teeth and gums area. Proper care of your pet’s teeth and gums can prevent disease, prevent bad breath and lead to an overall better life for your dog or cat. Here are some tips on how to keep your pets’ teeth and gums healthy.
1. Check Monthly
One way to keep your pet’s mouth healthy is to stop problems in their tracks. A monthly examination of the mouth can do this. Things to look for include bad breath, cysts or tumors, missing or loose teeth, redness and inflammation and too much moisture or drool.
2. Visit the Veterinarian
Regular trips to your veterinarian can help ensure your pet’s entire body is in good shape. Your doctor should examine your pet’s mouth at each visit. Many offices like Carter Veterinary Medical Center even offer tooth and gum cleanings and mouth care services. If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to bring them up when you are there.
3. Brush Their Teeth
You may not be aware that there are products on the market for brushing your pet’s teeth. Most veterinarians and pet stores offer an animal-friendly toothpaste for sale. Generally, it tastes like meat or cheese so that your pet will enjoy it. Just be sure you never use human toothpaste on an animal as it can upset their stomach. As for brushing, you can use a toothbrush or simply wrap some gauze around your finger. Be sure to brush in a circular motion, and do it at least twice a week.
4. Chew Toys
Nylon and rubber chew toys, as well as rawhide bones can help keep your pet’s mouth healthy. When he or she gnaws on the toy or bone, it massages the gums and helps to remove tartar. Having these items around can also help keep them from chewing on your belongings.
5. Mind Their Diet
Like humans, a pet’s diet can affect their overall health. There are many dog and cat treats and foods on the market made specifically to help reduce tartar and plaque build-up. Keeping table scraps at a minimum can also help keep your pet’s mouth in good shape.
Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy will not take too much time or money on your part. Just a few extra steps a week and a few minor changes in lifestyle can be just what your pet needs to have healthy gums and teeth for many years to come.