Did you know that poor dental health may cause organ damage and hardening of the arteries in your dog or cat? Neglecting regular tooth cleanings can actually take years off of your pet’s life. The American Veterinary Dental Society says oral disease occurs in 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats by their third birthday. If those facts make you want to start caring for your pet’s teeth, then keep reading to learn how.
Your pet’s teeth don’t have to be brushed every day, but weekly cleanings are a start. One thing you might notice is a drastic decrease in your pet’s bad breath. Sometimes even switching your pet’s food can be beneficial. For example, kibble diets and harder treats can remove plaque build up and stimulate their gums.
In order to start brushing your pet’s teeth, you need to have some essential supplies and knowledge. First, you cannot use human toothpaste on pets. Our toothpaste is toxic and cannot be swallowed, which is why we spit it out but pets lack this ability. For your tooth brushing supplies, visit a local pet store or shop online. There are different types of toothbrushes but choose the one you think will work best for your pet.
Although you can buy pet toothpaste at the pet store, you can also make your own at home. All you need is baking soda, salt and glycerin. Put 6 teaspoons of baking soda, 1/3 teaspoon of salt and 4 teaspoons of glycerin into a bowl. Then add 2 teaspoons of beef or chicken broth to make it more enjoyable for your pet.
Now all you need is a washcloth and you’re ready to start brushing. Try to remain calm and remember that you will probably have to gradually work up to brushing all of your pet’s teeth. Your dog or cat will most likely take some time to allow you to do this but be patient.
Monitoring and cleaning your pet’s teeth on a regular basis prevents tooth decay and painful abscesses. Visiting your veterinarian for teeth cleaning can be expensive, but get it professionally done at least once a year. It’s important to catch dental problems early on before they affect your pet’s health and quality of life.