There are a few things you can do to help keep your pet’s mouth as clean and comfortable as possible.
The gold standard of dental care is to brush your pet's teeth. There are many pet tooth brushes available which you can use with pet toothpaste. You must always use pet toothpaste - human products are not designed to be swallowed (most contain detergents and fluoride that will cause upset stomachs). You will only gain the benefits if you perform the dental care regime daily, just as you would for yourself.
A plan to get your pet used to teeth brushing:
Ensure you introduce brushing your pet's teeth slowly: always be patient, always praise and reward; ensure you stop if there is any sign of aggression.
Start by gently stroking the outside of your pet's cheeks with your finger only (no brush) and slowly lift the lip for about 30 seconds. Afterwards, give lots of praise and reward with a treat.
Repeat Day 1 but this time, place a small amount of toothpaste on the end of your finger and let your pet sample it.
Days 3 & 4
Gently run your finger with a small amount of pet toothpaste over the teeth for 30 seconds.
If you pet is tolerating its dental care, then try using a toothbrush rather than your finger; do this for 30 seconds. Don’t forget to give lots of praise and reward afterwards!
Days 6 & 7
Repeat Day 5 and gradually increase the time spent brushing the teeth to one minute.
If your pet does not respond well to tooth brushing, dental biscuits are an acceptable alternative (but not as good!)
Dental biscuits can be used to clean the tooth surface. Unlike normal dry food, dental biscuits are made to resist crumbling as soon as the animal bites into it. This means that your pet has to work harder to break it up and this creates a scrubbing action on the tooth as it is chewed, helping to clean the tooth. Some dental foods, such as RCW Dental also contain nutrients that help to reduce tartar deposits.
The diet can be used by itself or can be used as a supplement to an already existing regime – a few kibbles daily will be sufficient. RCW Dental biscuits can be ordered from reception.
Dental Chews & Treats
These are yummy treats which also double up as being beneficial for your pet’s oral hygiene. To get maximum benefit, use these in conjunction with tooth brushing.
As they are treats, they can be calorific and so it is important to limit how often they are given.
Supplements to Food/Water
These are more beneficial to use in conjunction with tooth brushing, rather than alone, to keep your pet’s teeth clean. Products such as Plaque Off (on food) and Aquadent (in water) can be used to help fight plaque formation and freshen breath.
Our nurses run free clinics to help you with your pet’s dental care, so book an appointment at reception, request online or call us for extra advice.