February is National Pet Dental Month
February 5, 2016
February is National Veterinary Dental month. It is a month of celebrating dentistry for our beloved pets as part of their overall healthy being. Although it is one month that we embrace dental health it is in fact an ongoing part of our veterinary practice and hopefully your pet’s home preventative daily routine. As pet caretakers you can help prevent dental disease by providing your own home dental care.
The following list will help you decide the best method of home dental care for your dog or cat.
1) The gold standard method for keeping your pet’s teeth clean is brushing. By brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush or gauze wrapped around your finger along with pet appropriate toothpaste you will be removing bacteria laden plaque from the teeth. Brushing should ideally be done daily. This halts the accumulation of plaque which will soon calcify into ugly, disease causing tartar or calculus. Tartar must be removed professionally since it is stuck like cement to your pet’s teeth. Ask your veterinary professional for a lesson on how to brush if it is new to you.
2) Some dogs and cats will not allow their people to get into the mouth to brush. A good alternative to brushing for those who can’t is a prescription dental diet. Our favorite at Grand Avenue is the Royal Canine Dental Diet. It works by mechanically removing plaque when the hard kibble is chewed. The kibbles are large enough that the pet is required to chew, not swallow the kibble as some do. Also, the food has an anti-tartar and anti -bacterial effect to help keep the mouth clean. Most pets love the flavor so adding it to their diet is not a problem. It needs to be fed daily to be effective.
3) Chew treats such as Greenies, raw hides and other dental chews can be somewhat effective for mechanically removing plaque from the teeth. Bones are not recommended for chewing since they can cause broken teeth. Check out our blog on Dental dog chews for more information:
Talk to us about the best method of home dental care for your pet.
Chris Morris, Certified Veterinary Technician