Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition for dogs and cats. Truth is, without proper oral care, 80% of dogs (by the age of 3) and 70% of cats will develop dental disease.
But, don't fret. You can save those chompers! Let's break down pet dental health and how to properly clean your pet's teeth:
Why is dental health important?
Just like hoomans, dental care plays a key role in your pet's overall health. Bad breath (worse than usual 🐶), mouth sores, and loose/missing or broken teeth can all be avoided with proper oral health.
While these issues may seem relatively minor, they are signs of potentially serious health problems. Infections could occur that get into the bloodstream and in turn, lead to painful dental diseases or heart, lung, and kidney disease.
Ignoring dental problems can be costly: extractions, repairs, fillings, etc. But routine at-home dental maintenance and bi-yearly cleanings can prevent expensive dental treatments and procedures and protect your pet's smile for years to come!
At-Home Dental Maintenance
Costs and vet bills for pet owners can add up. At-home cleanings are the most cost-efficient route for dental care and will save you money down the road.
Here are four ways to promote healthy gums and control tartar and plaque buildup from home:
1) Start Daily Brushing
Those teeffers won't brush themselves! Brushing daily is ideal for dogs and cats. But, 3 times a week will still promote good hygiene.
How do I brush my pet's teeth?
If you are just starting out, it's important to stick to a routine. Aim to brush their teeth with pet-safe products at the same time daily or weekly.
Throughout the toothbrushing process be sure to gauge your pet's anxiety level. Take things slowly! If they seem upset, stop, and try again later. You may need to work on mastering each of the following steps:
Step 1: Start by introducing the items to your pet slowly. Test their reaction to the smells and taste of the toothpaste and gel. Do this for a couple of days before jumping into the next steps.
Step 2: After introductions, start to practice the position in which you will clean their teeth. We suggest kneeling or sitting beside your pet at their level.
Step 3: Next, gauge your pet's comfort. Test their reaction to touching their mouth and gums with your finger and with the toothbrush.
Step 4: Once you believe your pet is comfortable, gently try brushing their teeth. Angle the bristles so they reach the gum line and brush in circular motions to clear away plaque.
Tomlinson's Pro Tip: We suggest offering a unique, high-value treat, like Chicken Feet from Jazzies, to reward your pup each time they get a cleaning or brushing. For cats, try Nulo Perfect Purees for a tasty reward!
2) Introduce A Raw Diet
Between daily, weekly, and bi-yearly teeth cleanings, there are other ways to promote good oral hygiene and health for your dog or cat. One of those is diet, specifically a raw diet.
Improved dental health is one of the many benefits of feeding a raw diet. Raw pet foods have good bacteria that break down plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth.
In addition, recreational or raw, meaty bones encourage your pet to use their teeth to tear, cut, and scrape all the meaty goodness off the bone. It’s nature’s toothbrush!
Tomlinson's Pro Tip: Always abide by these safety tips when feeding bones or hard chews.
3) Use Pet-Safe Products
Human dental products and toothpaste are not cut out for dogs or cats. We carry a variety of all-natural products that are chemical-free and certified organic.
- TropiClean Fresh Breath Dental Health Solution to their water bowl twice daily for fresh breath and a healthy mouth.
- Tropiclean Enticer Dental Gel - This vet recommended tested effective against 99.9% of harmful bacteria.
- Pure & Natural Tartar Fighting Gel - Targets tartar and plaque to leave your pup mouth fresh & clean
- Petzlife Dental Spray for Pets - Targets tartar and plaque to leave their mouth fresh & clean
- InClover Dental Supplement - Proprietary formula of flavonoids, prebiotics, catnip, and green tea extract
4) Make it a game!
While they chew and gnaw on their toy, the dental gel works to eat away tartar and plaque on their canines.
If your dog's teeth need a good cleaning but you want to avoid a serious surgical procedure, Tomlinson’s offers anesthesia-free dental cleanings in partnership with Canine Dental Services.
Anesthesia-free teeth cleaning is Team Tomlinson’s preferred choice for our own dog's teeth!
Here is what to expect:
- Free consultation and review of your pet's health
- Quick (15 mins), easy, and pain-free
- Completely free of drugs
- $195 total for all sizes & breeds
- Provided by the licensed veterinary professionals and oral care specialists at Canine Dental Services
Interested in learning more about the drug-free dental clinic or wanting to book an appointment? Click here to get a clean smile.
Not sure where to start? 👀
Dental care for your pet isn’t just fresh breath and a sparkling smile. To maximize their quality and quantity of life, it’s an important attribute to overall health. It's never too late to start!
Take our Pet Dental quiz and see where your current routine can improve!
Looking for more Pet Parenting tips?
Tomlinson's is your go-to pet supply store for natural, healthy pet products in Austin and the Central Texas region. Let us help prepare you and your home for your pet(s).
Visit our shop full of products sold through team members trained in animal nutrition. Pass by our stores with your adorable pet for some treat samples and loving ear rubs.