February is Dental Health Month! Have you been keeping up with your animal companion’s dental care? Below, your Coon Rapids, MN veterinarian outlines five easy ways to make sure Fido or Fluffy’s teeth stay in good shape.
Try to get a good look at your pet’s teeth about once a week or so. (It may be easiest to do this when your pet is tired.) Peel back the lips gently and examine the teeth and gums for redness, swelling, bleeding, cracked or misaligned teeth, and anything else that looks out of place. If you find anything, let your veterinarian know promptly so that your pet can receive treatment.
One of the easiest ways to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is to feed a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet. Make sure your pet is being fed a diet that is appropriate for his or her age, weight, and breed, and ask your vet about proper portion size. Not only will this provide your animal friend with the nutrients they need for healthy teeth and gums, it will keep the rest of the body in tip-top shape as well!
Pick up a pet-formulated toothpaste and a toothbrush at your local pet supply shop. Gently massage your pet’s gums with your finger at first, introducing them to the brushing sensation, before allowing them to smell and taste the paste. Eventually, you’ll be able to gently brush your pet’s teeth in order to remove loose plaque. If you need help brushing your pet’s teeth, call your vet’s office.
Providing your pet with plenty of chew toys isn’t just about good plain fun. Chew toys actually work out the teeth and gums, keeping them healthy, and also help to scrape off loose plaque from the outer teeth surfaces. This makes it less likely for tartar to form. Rotate your pet’s chew toy selection in and out so that they don’t become bored.
Of course, there’s no substitute for professional dental cleanings by your veterinarian. This is the best way to make sure Fido or Fluffy’s teeth and gums are clean and healthy. Plus, your veterinarian can evaluate your pet’s overall health and advise you moving forward.
If you would like more information on your pet’s dental health, or if your companion needs a professional cleaning, set up an appointment at your Coon Rapids, MN animal hospital.