Just like humans, cats and dogs are prone to developing oral health problems if their teeth are not regularly cleaned. Many pet owners, unfortunately, aren't sure how to brush their pets' teeth. At Kato Animal Hospital, a Toronto pet hospital, we look after every aspect of the health of the furry friends who visit our clinic, including dental health. Here are some tips from our experienced veterinarians about how you can take care of your pets' dental heath at home.
Start Tooth Brushing Early If you get a puppy or a kitten used to tooth brushing when they are young, you'll have a much easier time brushing their teeth later on. Introduce them to the process by gently massaging their gums and baby teeth with a cotton swab or with gauze wrapped around one of your fingers. When your pet becomes used to this, you can introduce them to a toothbrush. Use a Brush and Toothpaste Made for Pets When brushing your pets' teeth, you should never use oral care products made for humans, such as human toothbrushes and toothpaste. You'll be able to find pet-appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste at just about any pet supply store, and you can ask your Toronto veterinarian for recommendations if you're not sure which products to buy. Additionally, make sure you buy one toothbrush for each pet and that you don't mix the brushes up. Get Your Pet to Open Wide We concentrate brushing the outer aspects of the teeth that can be brushed with the mouth closed as these are the surfaces that build the most tartar in the dog and cat. It is also a much easier routine for the pet. If the dog or cat is super good and used to brushing you can attempt to brush the inner aspects of the teeth but it is trickier and maybe not as important. Practice Good Brushing Technique When brushing a pet's teeth, you should use small, circular motions that have a general downward stroke to them. Spend at least 30 seconds on each side of the mouth, and try to brush as often as you can. Once every day is ideal, but even a few times a week is far better than not brushing at all. Don't Miss Regular Checkups at Your Toronto Veterinarian During a regular checkup at Kato Animal Hospital in Toronto, ON, your pets will have their teeth and gums examined for any signs of trouble. If need be, we can provide a variety of pet dental services such as teeth polishing, dental charting, extraction, digital x-ray imaging, and more. However, you shouldn't wait until a regular checkup if you notice signs that your pets' dental health needs attention. These signs may include bad breath, tooth discolouration, bleeding and swollen gums, missing teeth, loss of appetite, or a sensitive mouth. If your pets' oral health needs attention, or if it's simply time for a checkup, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Kato Animal Hospital in Toronto, ON today. We can't wait to meet you and your loving companions.