Most of us are raised knowing the importance of brushing our teeth and visiting our dentist to ensure that we have healthy teeth. Nevertheless, unless you are an experienced pet owner, you probably don’t realise that outstanding dental health is just as important for your furbaby.
Teeth are essential tools for your pet
Unlike us, your pet cannot use cutlery to help them eat. Instead, all the work needs to be done by her teeth. In the case of cats, this means using her teeth to kill prey, grasp and hold her food, and bite through it. Feline’s don’t have teeth with grinding surfaces (molars) and this is because they bite their food into chunks small enough to swallow whole.
Dogs do have molars and rely on them to chew their food to a suitable size and consistency, so it can be safely swallowed. Their canine teeth also help to hold their very long tongues in place, so they it doesn’t loll around in their mouth.
The importance of pet dental care
There are many reasons why great dental care for your pet should be one of your key priorities as a responsible and caring pet parent.
Prevent pain and debilitating symptoms
One of the worst things about dental problems is the terrible pain that they can cause. Most of us know the agony of toothache, so why would we want to let our pet go through that discomfort if we can help it? No loving owner wants to see their furbaby in pain, and by looking after her teeth, you can prevent her from suffering.
Similarly, many of the other symptoms associated with dental problems can be unpleasant and debilitating for your pet. These include loose teeth, abscesses, loose teeth and a foul taste in the mouth.
Protect her general health
Just like their human owners, research has shown that pets who have poor dental health are at greater risk of developing a number of chronic conditions and diseases that affect their general wellbeing. Some of these include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even some forms of cancer.
However, but ensuring that your furbaby receives appropriate oral care, you can dramatically reduce the risk of any of these problems occurring.
Avoid risky surgeries and keep her dental bills down
When it comes to anything medical – including teeth – prevention is always better than cure. Most dental problems are progressive. This means that they get worse over time. Unfortunately, the longer it takes to address them, the more invasive and risky the treatment is likely to be for your pet.
Extensive dental treatment is often considerably more expensive, especially if multiple appointments and surgeries are required. This means that you could be surprised with some rather unpleasant bills.
How you can help your pet to have healthy teeth
Dental care is about way more than just how clean your pet’s teeth are, but brushing them as often as you can is the best way to prevent more serious problems from occurring. It is also something that you can do at home, and after some practice you will probably find that you can incorporate it quite easily into your daily routine.
There are plenty of products out there that are designed specifically for pet dental care, so make sure you choose an appropriate toothbrush and a cleaning paste that is specifically aimed at animals. Never use human toothpaste as this could make your pet unwell.
You can also help to protect your pet from dental problems by watching what she snacks on. Many processed snacks are high in sugar, which isn’t good for her teeth or her nutrition. However, a number of brands now offer chews and other snacks that are aimed specifically at improving the dental health of a furbaby, so try and choose these wherever possible.
Don’t forget to visit our vet. Although you are your pet’s main caregiver, our veterinarian is also firmly in favor of your fluffy friend having the best possible dental health. Most vets now offer dental services, meaning that you can get all of your pet’s health needs taken care of in just one place. Regular visits to our vet give them the perfect opportunity to cast their professional eye over the health of your furbaby, including that of her teeth. The earlier that potential problems are identified, the sooner you can get her started with a suitable treatment plan, which will prevent the issue from worsening.
If your pet hasn’t had a dental check up before, or if you aren’t sure when her last one was, contact us and arrange an appointment with our veterinarian to sort out a schedule for regular pet dental care.