golden with toothbrush.

Dog (or cat) breath may be one of the least cute things about pet ownership. If you are wondering how to keep your pet’s teeth clean and their breath fresh, you are in the right place. Flowers Mill Veterinary Hospital has some great tips for pet dental care at home!

Know Your Why

Avoiding stinky breath may be a great motivator for implementing a good home dental care plan for your pet, but there are lots of other important reasons to prioritize oral care. 

Periodontal disease is very common in pets. Other conditions like broken teeth, immune diseases, and improper bite alignment can also lead to trouble. 

Proactive dental care for you pet can help to prevent:

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Discomfort
  • Infection
  • Loss of teeth
  • Bone loss
  • Spread of infection to other organs like the kidneys, liver, and heart

Pets who have a solid dental health foundation tend to live longer and healthier lives!

How to Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Clean

There is a lot that you can do to support your pet’s overall dental health. Consider the following as part of your plan:

  • Tooth brushing: Brushing your pet’s teeth is a very effective way to reduce plaque and tartar accumulation. How often do you need to brush, though? Daily brushing, or at least brushing several times a week is ideal.
  • Over-the-counter dental products: Sometimes tooth brushing is not a practical option. Never fear, there are lots of great products to help support your pet’s dental health. Choose a product proven to help reduce plaque and tartar build up such as those tested by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Between the chews, treats, foods, water additives, and sprays that exist almost anyone can find something that fits their needs. 
  • Let us be part of the team: Just like you need the help of a dentist to keep your mouth healthy, your pet needs their veterinarian. Routine wellness appointments are great opportunities to discuss dental health and care options, and most pets need routine anesthetized cleanings.
  • Keep your eye on reality: There are lots of products and services out there that seem too good to be true. That’s because they probably are. Beware of products that are meant to magically fix your pet or non-anesthetic dental services or grooming add-ons that may cause more harm than good. 

Good pet dental care is an important part of your pet’s wellness care, and being proactive can help your pet to thrive. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your pet’s dental care. Oral health is about more than fresh breath!