According to the 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, about 70% of American households have at least one pet. Aside from food, water, walks, and toys, your pets also need routine healthcare – and that includes oral healthcare. The tips below provide oral care guidance for pets and not medical advice. If you have any concerns about your pet’s oral health, please see a veterinarian.
The Importance of Regular Dental Care for Pets
Your dental health can have a significant impact on your overall health and wellbeing, and the same is true for your pets. Oral health problems can lead to serious health risks for cats, dogs, and other animals, and in certain cases, other major health problems can lead to dental issues in animals. Your veterinarian should check your pet’s teeth at least once every year to check for any early warning signs of oral health problems, so it’s important to schedule those annual visits for preventative care.
Dental Care for Pets at Home
Veterinary dental specialists who work with dogs and cats recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at least once a day and ideally twice a day for all the same reasons that you brush your own teeth. Cats’ and dogs’ mouths contain a great deal of bacteria, and when left unchecked, it can cause tooth decay. Over time, that tooth decay can lead to significant pain that prevents your pet from feeding properly, and it can even cause serious infections that can make your pet very sick and even threaten his or her life. The best way to brush your pets’ teeth at home is with a specially-designed eco-friendly toothbrush made just for cats and dogs.
How to Get the Job Done
Brushing your pet’s teeth isn’t always an easy task, especially if your cat or dog is an older one who has never had the experience before. Ideally, you should start brushing your pets’ teeth when they are very young; this builds a routine and will make it much easier for you down the line. Next, be sure that you are using an extra soft toothbrush (ideally an eco-friendly one that is specifically designed for pets). Make sure to look at the toothbrush size before you buy, too; choose a small breed pet toothbrush option for cats and smaller dogs. To keep your pet interested in the brushing process, look for a quality pet toothpaste with a taste that your cat or dog will enjoy. Then, simply do your best to brush the entire surface of your pet’s teeth.
What About Dental Treats?
You’ve likely spent plenty of time perusing the treat aisle at your local pet supply store, and you’ve probably seen a variety of different treats that claim to be good for your pet’s teeth and gums. It might sound like a gimmick, but if you find a treat labeled with the VOHC Seal of Acceptance, you can trust that it truly works. Essentially, these treats work to scrape off any extra plaque or tartar that may start to build up between brushings. They do not replace brushing, but they can absolutely serve as a delicious way to add some extra protection to your pet’s oral care routine.
Your pet is counting on you to keep his or her teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy. Brushing your pets’ teeth at least once per day (and ideally twice per day) is important, and so is making your annual veterinary appointment so that your trusted vet can look for early warning signs. Brushing is important for everyone, and that’s why WooBamboo has carefully crafted a variety of eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes designed to keep your teeth – and the Earth – clean.