Brushing your pet’s teeth is one of the best ways to keep their teeth and gums healthy. It’s a good idea to introduce teeth brushing when your pet is young, but if you have an older dog or cat, a bit of patience and lots of praise and reward go a long way. Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done and a few tips to keep their teeth perfectly pearly.
What you need to brush your pet's teeth
Your vet will have supplies of pet toothbrushes and toothpaste – don’t use human toothpaste, as this can be toxic to pets. Chicken-flavoured toothpaste is a firm favourite, but you can also pick up a variety of meaty or seafood flavours to see which one your pet enjoys most.
Getting pets used to teeth brushing
Get your pet used to the toothpaste – allow them to lick it and have a good sniff. Give them a chance to become familiar with you touching and lifting their lips so you can see their teeth. Sometimes this can take a bit of persuasion, but rewards and patience will pay off.
Gently and very slowly brush their teeth from front to back in an oval pattern, making sure you get in between their teeth. If you only get a few seconds first time, that’s okay. Next time you’ll get 10 seconds and so on – it takes under a minute to brush a full set.
Why is it so important to brush your pet's teeth?
By brushing your pet’s teeth regularly you are preventing a build up of plaque and resulting gum disease.
What’s most concerning is that the bacteria and toxins from dental disease can cause problems in your pet’s kidneys, liver and heart, as toxins can be transferred through their bloodstream. Like us, as pets age the more likely they are to be affected, so start early and get into the habit of brushing your pet’s teeth every day to keep them strong and healthy.
If you need any tips or advice on brushing your pet’s teeth, don’t hesitate to ask of our friendly team at the clinic.