Starting a A Good Dental Regime for Your Petfrom Day One
While it may be tempting to dismiss pet dental health as a minor concern, the reality is quite the opposite. Neglecting your pet's teeth can lead to a range of health issues, including painful dental problems and potential complications affecting their overall well-being. Fortunately, by starting early and adopting a proactive approach to dental care, you can ensure your pet enjoys a lifetime of strong teeth, fresh breath and a happier, healthier life.
An Early Start for Dental Care
Starting dental care during your puppy or kitten's early months is not only a proactive approach but also a vital one. Here's why:
Prevention is key
Early dental care helps prevent a wide range of dental issues that could develop later in life. By building a strong foundation for your pet's oral health now, you can potentially save them from painful dental problems down the road.
Young animals are more adaptable and open to new experiences. By introducing dental care at a young age, you can help your pet become accustomed to the routine, making it less stressful for both of you in the long run.
Starting dental care when they're young establishes a routine that you’re likely to continue into your pet’s adulthood, ensuring that their dental health is consistently maintained.
Establish a Routine
Ensuring your pet's dental health isn't a one-time task; it's an ongoing commitment that requires consistency and care throughout their life.
Create a Daily Brushing Schedule
Consistency is key: As with any habit, consistency is crucial. Aim to brush your pet's teeth daily or at least several times a week. A regular schedule helps your pet become accustomed to the routine.
Choose a convenient time: Pick a time when your pet is relaxed and cooperative. Many pet owners find that evenings work well, as it can become a calming part of their bedtime routine.
Set reminders: Life gets busy, so it's essential to set reminders, especially when you're just starting. Consistency will become easier over time, but reminders can help you stay on track.
Alternative Dental Care Products (Chews, Toys, Treats)
Dental care products such as dental chews, toys and treats can be valuable additions to your pet's dental care routine. These products are designed not only to entertain your pet but also to help maintain their oral health.
Dental chews and toys are often textured or shaped in a way that encourages chewing and gnawing, which can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup on your pet's teeth. Many of these items are flavoured to make them more appealing to your pet, making dental care feel like a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Dental treats are specially formulated to promote oral hygiene whilst also being a tasty snack.
It's essential to choose products that are appropriate for your pet's size, age, and specific dental needs, and consult with our vets for recommendations if you're unsure.
Positive Reinforcement and Training
Start by introducing the toothbrush and toothpaste to your pet without brushing. Allow them to sniff and lick the toothpaste so they become familiar with it.
Use positive reinforcement during the dental care process. Reward your pet with treats, praise, or playtime afterward to create a positive association with dental care.
Begin with short brushing sessions, gradually increasing the time as your pet becomes more comfortable. Be patient, and never force the toothbrush into their mouth, as this can create anxiety.
Professional Dental Care
Knowing when to seek professional help for your pet's dental issues is crucial in maintaining their oral health and overall well-being. Here are some of the signs to look for:
Persistent bad breath. While it's common for pets to have occasional bad breath, persistent foul odour can be a sign of dental problems, such as gum disease or infections. If your pet's breath consistently smells unpleasant, consult with our vets.
Difficulty eating or dropping food. If your pet is having trouble eating, chewing, or frequently drops food from their mouth, it may indicate dental discomfort. This could be due to dental pain, loose teeth or other issues that require attention.
Bleeding gums. If you notice blood when your pet chews on toys or during brushing, it's a sign of gum inflammation or infection. Don't ignore this symptom, as untreated gum disease can lead to more serious health problems.
Excessive drooling. While some drooling is normal for certain breeds, a sudden increase in drooling can be a sign of dental problems, including infections or foreign objects stuck in the mouth.
Behavioural changes. If your pet becomes irritable, withdrawn or unusually aggressive when you try to handle their mouth or touch their face, it may indicate oral pain or discomfort. This should prompt you to seek professional help.
To launch Dental Month, for the month of September we will be providing FREE dental checks for your pets by our nurses.
At this FREE check your pet will:
have a dental assessment and be provided with an assessment form
receive tailored advice to keep their mouths and thus health in tip-top shape
receive a FREE dental sample
To book, please call us on 9568 2211.