Top tips to maintain healthy teeth and gums in pets

Just like us it’s important for our four-legged friends to follow a daily dental routine. Your pet’s teeth have a lot of work to do, if they aren’t properly cared for, it can cause problems.

Poor dental care doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth, the bacteria generated by gum disease could eventually enter their bloodstream and potentially damage their heart, liver or kidneys.

Signs of poor dental health in pets can include, bad breath, yellow and brown tartar, bleeding gums, a sore mouth, drooling, loose teeth, pawing at the mouth or difficulty eating. To help pet owners maintain their pet’s dental health, we share some tops tips:

Teeth brushing

Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is the best way to keep their teeth clean and healthy. Be patients and take things slowly and get them used to having their teeth cleaned over a few weeks. Let them taste their new pet safe toothpaste so they think of brushing their teeth as a treat not a chore. Cleaning dogs teeth is an important part of their dental routine and one that needs to be done daily.

Start their dental routine early

Starting your pet’s dental routine from an early age will get them used to having their teeth brushed without any fuss. However, it’s never too late to start your pet’s dental routine, older dogs or cats can also be trained to have their teeth brushed.

Use a pet-friendly toothpaste

When brushing dogs teeth make sure you use a pet-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush. Most human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is poisonous for pets. Many human toothpastes also contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs. Xylitol can cause blood sugar drops in dogs, as well as potential liver damage. If you’re unsure, your vet will be able to advise which toothpaste is best for your pet.

Toys

You can buy toys that are designed to clean dogs teeth as they chew on them. Be careful not to get toys that are too small and can be swallowed or get caught in your dog’s throat.

Dental chews

Dental chews or treats and specialist foods can also help to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Be careful not to feed them too many of these, include them in their daily calorie intake to prevent any unwanted weight gain.

Treats

Don’t feed them too many sugary treats, as this can cause more bacteria to build up on your pet’s teeth.

Food

Dry food could be a better option than wet food for your pet’s teeth as soft food can get stuck to the teeth and cause decay.

Bones

Don’t feed your dog bones as these can damage their teeth. Bones can also break into splinters which can damage their gums and throat.

Visit your vet

Regular vet visits can allow them to keep an eye on your pet’s oral health, as well as other health issues that may arise. If you don’t feel confident brushing your pet’s teeth, your vet will be able to offer advice on how to do this to best suit your pet’s needs and reduce any stress.

Natural plaque remover

Consider giving your pet a natural supplement to support your pet’s teeth and gums. These should be used in conjunction with daily brushing rather than instead of to help minimise plaque build-up.  There are many natural plaque remover supplements for dogs and cats on the market, which can help support your pet’s oral health.

If you are worried about your pet’s dental health be sure to speak to your vet is best placed to offer advice dependent on their age and breed.