You and your dog or cat make each other smile all the time, but your pet can’t take care of their dental health as easily as you can. (Let’s hear it for opposable thumbs!) So, your cat or canine depends on you, their loving pet parent, to help them look after their teeth. It’s a topic you should discuss with your vet on regular visits. We’ve assembled a list of questions you may want to ask them during your next checkup.
Some people think dental problems are only an issue for older dogs. Not necessarily! By the age of 2 or 3, many pets already have some degree of oral health issues. There’s no set age for when you should start brushing your dog or cat’s teeth, so consult your vet on when it’s safe and beneficial to begin. Establishing a brushing routine while your pet is young will help promote healthy teeth and gums as they grow.
Regular brushing is important for your pets, just like it is for you. Your vet can let you know how often it should be done at home.
There are a variety of brushes, wipes, pet-specific toothpastes, water additives and dental treats that can support your pet’s oral health. Ask your vet for a few suggestions.
Your vet can recommend a variety of ways to make the process easy and chill for both you and your furry companion, from establishing a consistent routine (practice makes perfect!) to less stressful approaches, techniques and products you can try. Keep in mind that the less nerve-racking it is for your pet, the more likely they will let you do a proper job.
Based on your pet’s breed, size and current dental health, your vet can make a recommendation on when to get a professional teeth cleaning done. This process does a thorough job of removing plaque and tartar, and then polishes the teeth to help reduce plaque buildup in the future.
After a lifetime of chomping on kibble or gnawing on catnip toys, older pets can be more likely to experience dental issues. Ask your vet what symptoms you need to be on alert for.
If your pooch’s smooches or cat’s cheek rubs have you gasping for fresh air, ask your vet to check them out — there could be an underlying cause. They’ll be able to help diagnose the issue and recommend a course of treatment.
Please ask your vet. We’re curious to know, too.