How to take care of your pet’s dental health

Dental health for our pets is as important as ours. Keeping their pearly whites sparkly clean and minty fresh is one way to ensure they stay happy and healthy. Oral damage in our pet’s body can eventually develop into a disease. Not only that, bacteria in plaque can enter the bloodstream and cause serious issues in the pet’s organs.

Here’s what you need to know, what to look out for, and how to keep your furry friend’s oral hygiene in tip-top shape. 🦷✨

What to know 

Your pet should be visiting the veterinarian annually for a health and dental check-up. It’s always best to catch any problem before it becomes a bigger issue, so make sure you pay attention to your pet’s health by tracking their well-being. Here are a few issues you need to know about pet dental care and maintenance!

  • Dental diseases begin earlier in life. By the time our little friends turn three years old, they most likely have some form of dental disease. Spotting symptoms early can prevent chronic pain and further inflammation, which can decrease your pet’s quality of life dramatically.
  • They can cause massive pain to our pets. If left untreated for too long, your furry friend might experience chronic pain. Pets can’t tell us they’re in pain, so they might be suffering in silence. If your pet has become more lethargic and easily irritable, the culprit might be their dental health!
  • Removing plaque is extremely important. Especially the plaque that sits underneath the gums. Without removal, it can cause infections that can leak into the bloodstream, affecting vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, and liver.
  • At-home care is more crucial than we think. Sure, you’re thinking “nobody has time to brush their pet’s teeth!” but committing to a regular schedule can prevent a lot of health issues down the line. Remember: prevention is always better than cure! 

Symptoms to look out for 

As pet parents, we have to keep an eye on our trusted companion and their behavior. Becoming extra moody and easily agitated is a sign that your pet isn’t feeling its best. 😿 Check if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms: 

  • Bad breath 
  • Broken or loose teeth 
  • Discolored or plaque-filled teeth 
  • Abnormal chewing and eating habits
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat 
  • Bleeding, swelling, or pain in the mouth area

How to care

As simple as it may seem, just like hoomans, our pets need a regular tooth-brushing schedule. Of course, daily brushing is an ideal scenario. But we understand that not every pawrent has time for that! So brushing every other day is also good enough. 🪥

For large pets, using a normal-sized pet toothbrush is fine. If your pet is on the smaller side, baby toothbrushes are better. There are various flavors of pet–friendly toothpaste available on the market, please do not use your own toothpaste on your pet. Unlike our own routine, we don’t have to rinse off the toothpaste after we’re done brushing our pet’s teeth!

Dental treats and toys can help clean your pet’s teeth without brushing them every day. There are also diets that can help prevent dental diseases in the future. Consult with the vet for the best diet plans for your paw friend. 👨‍⚕️🥫

This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)

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