Pet Dental Health Month
February is National Pet Dental Month. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 2/3 of pet owners do not comply with dental care recommendations from their veterinarian. Dental hygiene of your pet, similar to yourself, can help manage the overall health of your loved one and prevent various diseases such as heart and kidney disease, encouraging the longevity of your furry family member. To help encourage the dental hygiene of your pet, Woodlands Animal Care Center recommends the following:
- During routine physical exams, ensure your veterinarian examines your pet’s mouth fully and allow you to visualize as much of the teeth and mouth as possible. If you notice an odor from your pet’s mouth be sure to mention this to your veterinarian during the exam.
- Dental cleanings under sedation are encouraged every 6 months to a year depending on the pet’s needs and how efficient at home care is accomplished. During the month of February, Woodlands Animal Care Center is offering $25 off your pet’s dental cleaning!
- The recommended ideal at home dental care is to brush with a pet approved toothpaste daily. To ease the process of brushing your fur-baby’s teeth at home follow these steps:
- Purchase a pet-safe toothpaste, and a toddler brush, finger brush or motorized brush.
- Plan a specific place in your home that is comforting to your pet and easy for you to access daily
- Give your pet a pea sized amount of toothpaste from your finger as a treat daily for about a week or until the pet learns to love the taste. Change the flavor if you think that will help your pet enjoy the experience more.
- Place a pea sized amount of toothpaste on the tooth brush and allow you pet to lick it off as a treat for about a week.
- Start moving forward with active brushing of the teeth such as just the front teeth. Your pet can take the lead on this training to encourage a joyful experience and allow you to continue to brush daily.
- Move forward to eventually brushing all teeth daily. You only need to brush the outside of the teeth, but do your best to reach the back teeth as these are often the first to need extracted due to the tartar build up.
Each step should take at least a week to move forward, but your pet’s tolerance is the best gauge for when to advance to the next step. If your pet is intolerant of daily brushing, every little bit helps. Brush once a week, offer a good quality toothpaste as a treat, or apply the toothpaste to a toy your pet loves to chew. Other options for at home care include dental treats, dental approved toys, and water additives.
If you have any questions on dental care for your pet, please contact the Woodlands Animal Care Center and an Animal Care Associate will assist you. We understand the difficulty in this process and hope to make any part of the process easier for you and your pet.
Woodlands Animal Care Center