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Five Tips for At-Home Pet Dental Care

Updated: Apr 5

dog dental care

Dental care for our furry friends is just as important as it is for humans. Dental disease affects 80% of adult dogs, with periodontal disease being the most common.

It is suggested to have your pet's teeth checked by a veterinarian once per year. Ensuring your pet has clean teeth and healthy gums throughout the year is key to their total dental health.

Follow these five tips for at-home pet dental care, and keep your pet's good dental health.


1.Start Early


The earlier you introduce your pet to brushing their teeth, it is better. It is best to start by getting your puppy used to having your hands in their mouth. Rub your fingers or a soft cloth over the outer surfaces of your pet's teeth with a circular motion, focusing on where the gum touches the tooth surface.

Once your puppy is comfortable with you rubbing its teeth, let them taste a little pet toothpaste from your finger. Then rub some of the toothpaste on their teeth with either a soft cloth or your finger.

Remember positive reinforcement in the way of praise and treats each step of the way!


2.Establish a Daily Routine


A survey showed that only 8% of dog owners brush their dogs' teeth on a daily basis.

If you are short on time or just otherwise cannot fit daily pet dental care at home into your schedule, there are products such as odour-eliminating water additives, dental sprays or treats that can also remove and prevent tartar and plaque buildup.


3.Choose Chews Wisely


Dental-specific chews, as well as other chew treats, are another excellent way to keep your dog's teeth clean. When shopping for chews, look for products with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal. This signifies products that meet pre-set standards of effectiveness when it comes to controlling plaque and tartar in pets. Be careful not to give bones, rawhides or treats that are too hard and can cause fractures of the large premolars used for chewing. Veterinary dentists say if you hit your kneecap and it hurts, it is too hard.


4. Serve Dental-Health-Specific Food


There are several pet food options that aid in dental health. These foods contain the same nutritional content as regular foods but are created with specific formulations that allow the kibble to break down easily when chewed. The edges of the kibble then effectively scrub the surface of the teeth as the pet chews.

Some foods also contain an added coating to prevent dental tartar. If you are interested in a dental-specific diet for your pet, Kato Animal Hospital offers nutritional counselling to help ensure a good match for your pet.


5.Pet Dental Care Exams


Your veterinarian will also check your pet's teeth and gums on a regular basis. In addition to dental care at home, you can also ask the professional pet teeth cleaning at the pet clinic. Since pets cannot sit still for these cleanings, general anesthesia will be used during the teeth-cleaning process.


Your Local Vet in Toronto


Regular pet dental care is essential for a healthy and happy lifestyle for your animal pals. Kato Animal Hospital helps you keep your pets' teeth and gums clean and healthy. We have been serving pet owners in Toronto for over 40 years. We also offer pet nutrition consultation services. Schedule an appointment with us today!




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