Brushing your pet's teeth may seem unusual; after all, haven't cats and dogs survived for centuries without a toothbrush? Wouldn't cleaning your cat's teeth be just as beneficial as taking them to a spa? Dental care for pets is more vital than most pet owners realize!
WHY YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR PET’S TEETH
Just as people are living longer lives than ever before, our pets are living longer lives as well, and simple actions like teeth brushing can help prevent a variety of illnesses that arise as a result of their extended lives. We might be able to get by without cleaning our teeth for a while, but the long-term implications will be disastrous: discomfort, eating disorders, infections, and even worse ailments. Establishing a teeth-brushing routine with your pet is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help them prevent pain and suffering, as well as pricey procedures and other dangerous illnesses.
Plaque and tartar build-up when you don't clean your pet's teeth regularly. Plaque is a white, sticky coating that grows on your teeth and those of your pet. If you don't clean your teeth often enough, plaque builds up and turns into tartar, which can't be removed with a toothbrush.
Other medical conditions such as gingivitis, gum disease, teeth loosening or falling out, and other more serious illnesses arise as a result of these deposits. These infections eventually spread to the kidneys, liver, and heart, among other organs. As you can see, avoiding these intricate issues, assisting your pet in maintaining good teeth, and keeping them healthy and pain-free while they are a member of your family is the greatest gift.
THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN THEIR TEETH
Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are unquestionably the best options for oral care. But, even though rubbing helps to get rid of plaque and stop it from growing, it doesn't really get rid of plaque that has already built up on the surface.
Different sorts of dental hygiene kits for dogs and cats are available, each of them custom-made for each species and containing edible toothpaste. Other options include the Bristly dental hygiene toy; this toy cleans dogs’ teeth and even includes a deposit where we can pour meat-flavoured toothpaste. Teeth-cleaning foods and bones are two other passive teeth-cleaning choices.
ALWAYS USE TOOTHPASTE DESIGNED FOR PETS
It’s crucial to remember that you can’t brush your cat or dog’s teeth with human toothpaste. This substance is hazardous to them, and you should avoid using homemade alternatives such as sodium bicarbonate. Not only does it taste terrible, but it will also end up turning toothbrushing into a high-stress activity.
You’ll need to go to a specialised pet store or a veterinarian to get cat or dog-specific toothpaste, some of which taste like meat and are quite effective.
WHEN TO START BRUSHING THEIR TEETH
At first, pets will not like the feel of fingers in their mouth. This is why the optimum time to establish it as a routine is when they’re still young. If you create the habit while they are more adaptable, they’ll adjust faster and be more likely to participate.
Although pups' teeth are not fully developed until they are around 6-8 months old, teeth-brushing can begin much earlier. You can try to get them accustomed to it by cautiously inserting your finger in their mouth and softly stroking their teeth for around 5 minutes a day. It will annoy them initially, but they will quickly accept it as normal. Start using a soft bristle brush after the denture is fully formed. The introduction of toothpaste is the next phase. When your pet behaves well, always reward them with a treat.
Adult cats and dogs are a little more problematic since they may be fairly strong, and their fear can cause them to flee and possibly become aggressive. It will take a bit longer for your dog to adjust to this if they’re an adult, but don't give up and be patient.
You’ll need to create a relaxed atmosphere for the pet to feel at ease. Cats can be wrapped up like a "burrito," leaving just their heads exposed, to keep them from moving and causing mutual damage. Always focus on offering positive reinforcement so they relate the experience to good memories. You can gently caress them and offer them friendly words in a calm tone, followed by a tasty treat as a reward.
Remember that the ideal is to brush their teeth on a daily basis, although you can space it out in the beginning to around three times a week.
BRUSHING YOUR CAT’S TEETH
Here’s how to properly wash your cat’s teeth:
- Ensure your kitty is relaxed and comfortable.
- Lift their upper lip slightly and begin brushing the surface of their teeth gently and downward; ensuring that any collected food or residue is removed.
- Use your thumb and index finger to open your cat’s lips a bit more. Always remember to be gentle.
- From the inside out, brush your cat’s teeth using the same procedure as on the outside.
- There’s no need to rinse once you’re done, but you should allow your kitty to drink water if they so desire.
Sometimes, the experience is so unpleasant for you and your cat that you may need to seek other solutions, like:
- Cat Dental Toys: They are a supplement, not a replacement, for brushing your cat's teeth. Because they are toys, their interactions with them are typically pleasant and non-intrusive.
- Mouthwash for cats: This is a basic choice that is generally diluted with water. Some cats, on the other hand, despise them.
- Toothpaste spray: like the previous alternative, this type of dental hygiene treatment does not appeal to all cats; they are often alarmed by the sound and spraying action.
- Cat Food: Some manufacturers, particularly those with a veterinary-grade line of products, feature variants that help keep your cat’s teeth healthy. Consult your veterinarian for the best alternatives.
- Professional Dental Cleanings: A veterinarian should examine your cat’s teeth on a regular basis. The doctor will examine the inside of your pet’s mouth to look for any diseases in the early stages. Professionals will anaesthetize your pet so they can clean its teeth. They will remove buildup from under the gum line and other places that are hard to reach.
BRUSHING YOUR DOG’S TEETH
When it comes to your dog's teeth, keep the following tips in mind:
- Always brush your dog with a soft bristle brush designed exclusively for dogs. Remember to buy new ones when they wear out.
- Never use human toothpaste on your dog since it contains too much fluoride. Make sure to check out your local pet store or ask your veterinarian for help.
- Brush your dog's teeth once a week, after he or she has finished playing or eating.
- Dental Cleaning Toys should be made of natural rubber, and if your dog's still a puppy, make sure they're soft.
- Do not allow your dog to chew on shoes or other household items, this will result in tooth damage.
- Check your dog's mouth once a week for tartar, dental decay, sores, or any other unusual signs.
There are a variety of alternatives available to help care for your dog's teeth, and you'll need to use more than one to maintain a healthy mouth:
- Food: High-quality dry food is one of your best alternatives; it's crunchy and the proper size to not get trapped between the teeth or adhere to the gums. The ingredients also aid in strengthening the teeth.
- Diet: Avoid giving them too many carbohydrates and don't give your pet human snacks. They could get sick, and food can get stuck in their teeth.
- Bones: Uncooked cow bones and cartilage help strengthen your dog's teeth and clean their gums. Make sure the bones are larger than your furry buddy's head.
- Toys: Some dog toys are meant to act as toothbrushes, removing any debris stuck between the teeth.
- Vet Visits: Make an appointment with your veterinarian once or twice a year to have your pet's teeth checked and cleaned. Only professionals should be doing dental cleanings, using specific equipment and anesthesia.
We hope this article gave you a quick overview of some of the most important components of pet dental hygiene.
We recommend that you speak with one of our qualified veterinarians in depth. They will provide you the finest advice and tactics for improving your pet's dental and general health.