February marks Pet Dental Awareness Month. So we put together these simple ways you can help to improve your pet's dental health.
Find chew toys that help to massage and remove tartar from teeth and gums.
Sturdier toys with nubs and or grooves can help to massage tartar and plaque off of teeth and gums naturally when chewing. Rope toys can also work as floss to do the same. Just make sure the toy is difficult to destroy, or remember to be present while they play.
Brush your pet's teeth daily or at least few times a week.
One clear an easy way to make sure your pet's pearly whites are clean, is to brush them like you would your own. Without question, this is the best way to keep your pets teeth clean. For some tips from the ASPCA on how you can get the job done, click here
Find toothpaste or dental products safe to swallow.
Since our pets can't swallow, make sure you look at the ingredients in dental products to make sure they are safe and natural for them to swallow. Always rule out human toothpastes as they contain abrasives or detergents that should not be ingested. Also pet dental products can include flavors that can make dental routines much more appealing for your dog or cat.
Know red flags to look out for.
Sometimes symptoms from the mouth can be signs your pet may have an oral or stomach issue. Look out for these things and speak with your vet if any of these symptoms persist:
- Bad breath (Not all pets will have the freshest of breath, and not all bad breath means something bad, but look out for it when paired with other symptoms)
- Loose or discolored teeth
- Sensitivity of the mouth
- Difficulty eating, dropping food
- Excessive drooling
- Inflamed gums
- Cysts under the tongue or gums
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Only you can truly help keep up your pet's dental hygiene. They can't brush their teeth or monitor how their dental health is. Preventative dental routines can help to ensure your pet stays healthy and to avoid expensive vet visits to treat disease. Make a calendar or phone alerts to remind you to clean your pet's teeth or include cleanings when visiting the groomer.
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