The end of the month is approaching, and that means that it is almost National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. As many of our patient's know, our team are all animal lovers and our office is pet friendly, so this is a day that is dear to us.
If you haven't met our Director of Greetings (D.o.G.), Sadie, feel free to drop by our office anytime to say hello!
Speaking of pets, if you have a beloved dog, cat or other furry friend in your home, you know that it’s just as important to take care of their teeth as it is to take care of your own. Making sure your pets have healthy teeth is vital to their overall health. This is the perfect week to review what you do to keep your pets’ teeth healthy and strong.
So, what do you need to do to improve your dog’s or cat’s oral hygiene?
Oral Hygiene for Dogs
When you look at your dog’s mouth, there are a few things you should look for to make sure your pooch is healthy. You should be able to see if your dog has any inflammation in his or her mouth. A healthy mouth for a dog means that all teeth are intact, not broken or cracked. Gums should be pink (or black in some breeds) and there should not be any signs of bleeding or redness. Your pup’s tongue should be moist and pink without any cuts, sores, or mottled spots. You should always call your veterinarian if you notice any lumps, cuts, inflammation, or gums that are pale or bleeding.
Of course, just checking your dog’s teeth isn’t enough to keep them healthy. You should also be giving them regular cleanings to help avoid dangerous plaque buildup and other problems. Ideally, you should be brushing your dog’s teeth every day, but if that is too overwhelming for either of you, three days a week can make a huge difference.
You can find special toothbrushes for dogs and even toothpaste that helps keep their mouths healthy. Of course, you should never use human toothpaste to brush a dog’s teeth, as it can make them extremely ill.
Oral Hygiene for Cats
Regular dental care is also important for your feline friends. But it’s no secret that cats aren’t exactly fans of being touched on their face or their mouth. The best way to tackle this issue is to start small. Give your cat dental treats and washes formulated for cats. When you think he or she is ready, you can start gently introducing them to the idea of actually brushing their teeth. You can also find special dental treats that are fortified with special enzymes. These enzymes help kill harmful bacteria in your cat’s mouth. If you are ever in doubt, just ask your veterinarian.
Of course, while at-home care is important, your pet also needs to get a professional cleaning once every few years. This takes place at your regular veterinary office under sedation. It might not be fun, but it’s the best way to make sure your furry friend is safe and healthy.
You might not always remember that pets need dental care just like humans do. What better time to remember then during National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day? While you’re picking up your new friend, pick up a toothbrush for them too! #woof