Did you know that you should be cleaning your cat or dog’s teeth every day? Making this a habit helps prevent many dental health problems like plaque and gum disease, and it also fights bad breath!
It’s fairly easy to do and can even be enjoyable for your pet! Globalvet explains how to clean your pet’s teeth quickly and easily.
WHAT YOU NEED
- A toothbrush: Choose a brush with soft bristles. The bristles should be the right size for your pet’s teeth. You can also get a rubber finger toothbrush to clean your pet’s teeth directly with your finger. However, finger toothbrushes don’t clean as well as regular toothbrushes, so they aren’t the best option.
- Toothpaste: Globalvet stores have a wide variety of toothpastes available in flavours your pet will love. Never use human toothpaste to clean your pet’s teeth because it can be toxic to cats and dogs.
GETTING YOUR PET USED TO TOOTHPASTE
The key to success is to always try to make the cleaning a positive experience for your pet. To do that, you need to take your time. Always make sure to give your furry friend a reward after each step. Once they’re comfortable with one step you can move on to the next one, but you can’t skip steps.
The first step is getting your pet used to the toothpaste. Toothpaste for pets comes in flavours such as chicken, beef, seafood, vanilla, and mint, so you can offer some to your pet as a reward at first. Let your cat or dog lick the toothbrush with the toothpaste on it and give them a treat as well.
GETTING YOUR PET COMFORTABLE WITH BEING HANDLED
Now that your pet likes the toothpaste, it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable with being handled. Start by touching their head, and gradually move on to touching the jowls and lips of larger dogs. Offer them some treats and back off if they’re getting uncomfortable. Never physically restrain your pet.
Now your four-legged friend is ready to have their teeth cleaned! Pick a time when your animal is calm to begin the following steps:
- Wet the bristles of the toothbrush and apply a small amount of toothpaste, about the size of a pea for each side of the mouth.
- Start with the canines and move the brush back and forth over the gums and teeth. Brush the upper teeth towards the back of the mouth.
- Then do the same thing for the lower teeth.
- You don’t need to clean the inside of the teeth so your pet doesn’t need to open their mouth.
Diligent brushing has a significant impact on dental health, but if your pet is being uncooperative and you’re having trouble, there are a variety of additional products recommended by your Globalvet veterinary team that can help maintain your pet’s dental health.
- Dental food: Dental food slows down the accumulation of plaque and tartar because the kibble is extra abrasive and contains ingredients that reduce bacteria. This food is an easy way to contribute to your pet’s daily dental health.
- Treats and chews: You can get chewy treats that help reduce dental tartar. Some treats also contain enzymes that help control bacteria. However, these treats contain calories. Don’t hesitate to ask our team for advice to find the product that is best for your pet’s diet.
- Oral antiseptic: You can get oral antiseptic gel or wipes that work the same way mouthwash does for humans. It helps to reduce tartar and plaque buildup. It’s a good idea to use this product every day.
- Food and water additives: Simply add the liquid or powder to your pet’s food or water bowl. Just like oral antiseptic, the additives help prevent tartar and plaque from building up on your pet’s teeth.
Feel free to ask your Globalvet team for advice on which products are best for your furry friend. Combining dental hygiene care at home and professional care at the clinic are the key to good dental health.
Having trouble cleaning your cat or dog’s teeth? We’re here for you! Our team can advise you on methods to try and alternatives to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your four-legged friend.