When was the last time that you took a peek in your dog’s or cat’s mouth?

By the age of two, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease. Just like us your pets need dental care. There are many ways to keep your critters teeth and gums healthy, such as brushing daily with a pet approved toothpaste and a soft bristle tooth brush, dental chews, dental diets or oral rinses. A complete dental cleaning under anesthesia is also sometimes needed to remove the build-up of plaque and tartar.
When do you start oral care and how can you stick to the program? The idea is to get your pet to like getting his mouth touched (which is often the biggest battle). To make it fun, have a set routine and give a small treat or a special attention after brushing their teeth. Not only kids like to get a surprise if they were good at the dentist! It can take up to a month before a pet accepts general oral hygiene, be patient and don’t give up.

When choosing an appropriate toy for your pet make sure it isn’t too hard. Avoid sticks, rocks and bones as they can damage gums, cause fractures, wear down teeth or worse be swallowed.

So tonight be brave and take the time to inspect your pet’s mouth. If you notice bad breath, bleeding gums, swelling or anything that you feel shouldn’t be there, make an appointment with a veterinarian. They can recommend the best course of action to get your pet’s mouth smell fresh and be healthy.