Keeping Pets' Teeth and Gums Healthy

How often do you look at your pet’s teeth? If you’re like most pet owners, it’s been a while since you peeled back your pet’s lips and took the time to examine his or her molars and gums. It might seem unnecessary to inspect your pet’s teeth regularly. After all, she sees the vet at least once a year, right? However, it’s important to take proper care of pets’ dental health between vet visits. Tooth and gum decay are major risk factors for cardiac disease. Also, unless you fancy spoon-feeding mush to your pet in its old age, it’s necessary to prevent tooth decay so that your pet will continue to be able to eat a normal diet.

Tooth Brushing

Most pets can benefit from regular tooth brushing. But once in a while won’t do; if you’re going to brush your pet’s teeth, you’ll need to do so at least three to four times each week to have much of an effect. Daily brushing is best.

To accustom your pet to tooth brushing, start by purchasing a tasty toothpaste designed specifically for pets, and a rubber brush that fits over the tip of your index finger. Squeeze a very small amount of toothpaste onto the finger brush and let your pet lick it off. Do this daily for several days. Then begin rubbing the brush across a couple of teeth before you let your pet lick the toothpaste away. Gradually increase the time you spend on brushing, and decrease the time spent letting your pet lick the toothpaste. After a couple of weeks, even the most recalcitrant pet should allow you to brush all of its teeth.


Pets that eat a whole prey model raw diet including chunks of meat, organs, and bones are less likely to experience tooth decay. Ideally, you’d both brush your pet’s teeth daily and feed a diet that includes raw meat and bones. Raw meat can’t usually replace tooth brushing and dental cleanings completely, but it can help keep teeth clean.

Wolves and lions don’t have owners to brush their teeth, and yet, their teeth are often in better condition than those of domestic pets eating a commercial kibble or canned food diet. Millions of years of evolution have designed carnivores’ teeth with smooth surfaces that are cleaned by gnawing meat and bones.

Even humans’ teeth stay in better condition when there are more raw, whole foods in their diet (although I don’t recommend you start eating raw meat!) as studies of primitive cultures have shown. When modern, cooked, processed foods are introduced to the diet of human tribes who have been eating raw, whole foods, tooth decay and other dental problems become more common. Of course, cooking one’s food has plenty of benefits for omnivores, but dental health isn’t one of them.

Carnivores need raw meat and bones to keep their teeth healthy. If you’re not able or willing to do a full raw diet, try giving a few chicken or turkey necks to your pets on weekends when you’ve got time to supervise them as they eat. Just make sure not to feed any kibble for at least 12 hours before or after a raw meal.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Please follow and like us:
Visit Us
Follow Me
Follow by Email

  1. Dental Glendale
    | Reply

    Very informative article. We especially take care of our pets. We look at their diet, health, fur and of course their teeth and gums. Being responsible to them, we should know how to give what’s best to keep them healthy and strong like us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *