Taking Care of Your Pet’s Teeth

Many well meaning pet owners assume that furry friends don’t need dental care like we do. After all, animals can’t exactly brush their teeth, and that doesn’t seem to be a problem for them. However, it turns out that our pets’ teeth are very different than the teeth of wild animals. And they need our help to stay healthy.

Animal Teeth In The Wild

There are two main reasons that wild animals don’t need dental care. The first is diet. Unlike humans and our pets (especially cats and dogs), wild animals don’t consume a lot of sugar or carbs – which feeds bacteria causing tooth decay. In fact, wild animals are more likely to wear their teeth down than they are to get cavities.

The second reason wild animals don’t seem to get tooth decay as often is that their teeth essentially outlive them. They don’t live long enough for their teeth to rot before they die. If a wild animal’s teeth do rot, it won’t survive much longer in the wild. Unlike domesticated animals, wild animals don’t have a friendly human to feed it after it can no longer eat its usual food.

What Dental Problems Are Pets At Risk For?

While our pets have teeth that look a lot different from ours, they can get cavities and gum disease just like us! In fact, a whopping 85 percent of dogs and cats will suffer from gum disease by age three. As diligent pet parents, it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms like difficulty chewing, tooth loss, and bad breath. Other warning signs are loose teeth, swollen or bleeding gums, and loss of appetite. In some ways, dental problems are even more serious for our pets than they are for us. While we can take care of our own teeth, and can describe how our teeth and gums feel like to our dentists, our pets can’t do any of that.

Tips For Pet Dental Care

Don’t wait for your pet to start showing symptoms of dental problems to begin a dental hygiene routine for them. Whether you’re keeping their teeth healthy or helping ward off against existing problems, you’ll be making your furry friend’s life so much better. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Brush their teeth daily.
  • Only use toothpaste made for animals, if any. (Your toothpaste will make them sick.)
  • Give them vet-approved dental treats to help clean their teeth.
  • Have their teeth professionally cleaned! Some vets offer dental services, but if your vet doesn’t, they can probably recommend a veterinary dental specialist in your area.

Do It For Those Happy Doggy And Kitty Smiles!

Pets are family members and there’s nothing better than seeing them happy and full of life. Taking good care of their oral health a great way to make sure your pet’s Smile Always!  If you have any questions about what to do for your pet’s teeth or if you’re having trouble getting them used to a dental hygiene routine, ask about it at your next visit to Smileboston. Need to schedule your next hygiene appointment? Call 617-277-4100.