A Guide to Optimal Dental Health for Your Pet
Taking care of a pet is hard work, particularly from a grooming perspective. However, the reality is that grooming plays a big part in keeping your beloved companion healthy and happy. One of the most important aspects of grooming your pet is taking proper care of their teeth. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), pet owners are not paying enough attention to safeguarding their cats’ and dogs’ oral health. The Association claims that by the time they reach the age of three, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will already be displaying signs of dental disease.
So, how can you protect your best friend from going the same route? Here is everything that you need to know.
There are various dental chews and toys that you can buy which aid in keeping teeth clean and reducing the build-up of plaque, but no approach to oral care is quite as effective as regular brushing! Many pet owners shy away from this because getting their pet to cooperate can sometimes feel like a battle that simply cannot be won. Persistence is key, and it helps to start when your pet is still a kitten or a puppy. If, despite your best efforts, your pet will not allow a toothbrush near their pearly whites, you can try a damp gauze pad or washcloth instead.
For best results, brush once or twice daily.
Most vets recommend that you bring your pet in for a check-up at least once per year. Often, this visit will coincide with your pet’s annual vaccinations. A good vet, such as those at veterinarianjohnsoncitytn.com, will take the time to inspect your dog or cat from head to toe to ensure that they are in perfect health — and this inspection should include taking a closer look at their teeth. If you haven’t managed to brush their teeth as frequently as recommended, your vet might suggest a professional cleaning.
Know what to watch out for
It is essential that pet owners know how to inspect their pets for oral disease and when to take action to resolve the problem quickly. The most obvious symptom that your pets’ teeth need attention is the presence of red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Bad breath is another tell-tale sign that their dental health is deteriorating. In some cases, when they are in pain, you might notice a reluctance to eat hard food or play with their hard toys, but keep in mind that a reduced appetite could be a sign of many other health problems.
Be careful when selecting food
The food that your pet eats can have a significant impact on the health of their teeth. Steer clear of food brands that cram in excessive amounts of sugars and starchy carbohydrates and avoid feeding your dog or cat table scraps. By taking all the advice mentioned above into consideration, you are sure to help protect and maintain your pet’s wellbeing for many years to come.