Dental disease among pets is one of the most common problems diagnosed by vets in Australia. Reports reveal that 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three are likely to have some form of dental disease which can cause them discomfort and pain, and potentially have more serious impacts on their long-term well-being.
Just like humans, pets need to have their teeth brushed on a regular basis. Regular teeth brushing will help keep your pet’s breath smelling sweeter, and it will also help prevent dental diseases such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay.
When left untreated, dental diseases caused by poor oral hygiene can lead to dental infections, which can enter the bloodstream and potentially impact other organs within the body, such as the heart, liver and kidneys.
To support your pet pal’s dental health and overall well-being, make teeth brushing a regular and positive experience for your pet. Here’s how to get started.
Use equipment and product specifically designed for pets: Invest in a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. To make tooth brushing more appealing for your pet, opt for flavoured toothpaste such as chicken and beef. Pet toothbrushes are typically designed with soft bristles and angled heads to reach all areas of the mouth effectively.
Don’t rush and be patient: You have to introduce the tooth brushing experience to your pet in a calm and positive way. Start by letting your pet sniff and lick the toothpaste to get accustomed to the taste. Move on to using your finger to touch their teeth and gums, and then progress to using the toothbrush. It could take several days and weeks to ensure your pet feels comfortable.
Make it a regular activity: Just like daily walks and feeding time, make teeth brushing a regular routine and aim to brush their teeth daily or at least two to three times a week. Where possible, set aside a specific time during the day and find a place where your pet feels at ease.
Patience, positivity and praise: While it may be an uphill battle at first, patience will be key in creating a positive tooth-brushing experience. Start with short brushing sessions and then work towards longer sessions as your pet becomes more familiar with the process. Remain positive about how your pet is engaging in the process and reward your pet with treats, praise, or playtime after every session to ensure they associate positive experiences with the activity.
If you have concerns about your pet’s teeth, seek advice from your vet. Dental hygiene is an important part of overall well-being of humans and pets. Not only will the tooth brushing experience support your pet’s health and quality of life, but it will also provide a wonderful opportunity to spend time bonding with your pet pal.
Pet sitters can support tooth-brushing activities during their stay. Browse house and pet sitter profiles online to find the ideal sitter for your pet and provide information about tooth brushing routines before you leave.