Burgess Pet Care explain the importance of looking after our pets' teeth
Caring for our pets’ teeth is a very important job. Plaque and tartar build-up can lead to smelly breath, infected gums and can even damage your
pet‘s internal organs. Here’s what to do...
Does your dog or cat possess a gleaming set of pearly white gnashers? If they do, you’re probably already helping them take care of their teeth. Yet many pet owners aren’t aware how important tooth care in pets is, with studies estimating that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over three years of age are suffering with some form of dental disease.
Just like humans, dogs and cats benefit from regular tooth brushing. Without this as part of their regular grooming routine, plaque and tartar can build up. These yucky, bacteria-filled substances not only cause bad breath but, more worryingly, can lead to inflammation and infection, which is where problems can get really serious. In fact, by the time you notice your pet’s breath is on the stinky side, they may already have serious dental disease which requires antibiotics and tooth extractions.
In the worst cases, severe infections can lead to irreversible destruction of the structures supporting the teeth, including the jaw bone, which creates chronic pain. Some teeth may even fall out. Bacteria can also spread through the blood stream to other areas of the body, which can affect the heart, liver or kidneys, causing life-threatening problems.
But serious dental problems are preventable if you brush your pet’s teeth regularly – ideally on a daily basis. If you’re not sure how to go about it, your local veterinary team will be only too happy to show you. You’ll need a special pet toothbrush or finger brush and pet toothpaste – which come comes in a range of lip-smacking flavours. Never use human toothpaste as it contains ingredients that are harmful to animals.
Your pet will accept tooth brushing more readily if you get them used to it at a young age. Introducing it to an older pet requires plenty of patience and should be done in stages. Every pet is different, so keep sessions short, go at their pace and give them lots of praise.