As a reminder, February is National Pet Dental Health Month. This translates into savings for dog and cat owners as veterinarians compete for the best dental services at the best prices. In an effort to be a more informed consumer, pet owners with doggy or kitty dental issues should call several vet offices for quotes before making an appointment. The veterinarian has the professional equipment, education, and anesthesia to clean and remove plaque and tarter buildup that can occur on pets’ teeth over time. It’s recommended that dogs receive a dental “as needed,” which typically translates into their first at being at around 3-5 years of age.
Things You Can Do
Buying a special three-headed toothbrush conducive to cleaning a dog’s teeth is a great way to take some preventative measures in the fight against tooth decay. Pet stores sell special toothpastes with enzymes specifically designed for oral pet care. These toothpastes also lack fluoride, an ingredient that is toxic when swallowed and consumed in large amounts.
By establishing the tooth brushing as a habit through several half-successful attempts, almost all dog owners are able to eventually ease their dogs into a begrudging acceptance of the activity. With regularity, this simple tactic will strengthen dental measures taken by the veterinarian. It’s important for owners to not get discouraged early on by the first several tooth brushing experiences!
Things Your Dog Can Do
Dogs have their own method for maintaining tooth and gum health. It starts with their diet of hard kibble, which grinds off plaque as they chew and gnash the pieces. For this reason, dog owners should avoid canned wet food and hard kibble foods that promote “chewy bits” if they’re serious about preventative maintenance for their pets. Premium and Ultra Premium hard kibble brands are 100% hard, crunchy kibble pieces.
Beyond the meals, a dog’s toys and chews should be considered for their health benefits as well. Nylabones are examples of an almost indestructible toy that are manufactured with flavoring to encourage heavy chewing. Greenies are a consumable chew designed to help teeth through chewing and the inherent ingredients, which promote dental health.
With only three days left in the month of February… make sure to squeeze in a dental appointment with your vet!