How to Help Your Pet’s Dental Health and Teeth: Your Questions Answered
If you are like most pet owners, chances are your pet’s don’t have the healthiest teeth or gums. It is estimated that about 75-80% of pets over three years of age already have some form of dental disease. Plaque and tartar in pets can lead to bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. Just as we try to keep our own teeth healthy and breath fresh, dogs also need us to help care for their teeth and overall oral hygiene.
Many pet owners are not sure what to do to take care of their pet’s oral health. Should you brush their teeth every day? Does anything other than brushing help? Here are the most common questions about dental care for pets and answers to help all pet parents on the road to healthy dogs with healthy smiles.
Do I Need to Brush My Dog’s Teeth?
Many vets and experts recommend brushing your pet’s teeth, using specially formulated toothpaste and dental products designed for pets. Like most pet owners, you’d prefer your dog have the skills to brush his own teeth. Since this is never going to happen, it is best to get into the habit of keeping your pet’s teeth and dental health in top shape as part of your overall pet health routine. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is ideal, but with many dogs, this an be a bit of a chore. Try brushing at least once a week, and brush more frequently as your dog becomes more accustomed to it.
Other Than Brushing, What Helps Oral Hygiene of Pets?
The proper dental treats for dogs can clean teeth, freshen breath, and even help control plaque and tartar. As your dog chews a dental treat, the chewing action helps clean the teeth and control plaque and tartar. Some dental chews for pets, like Minties, also have a combination of ingredients that will freshen breath and promote healthy gums and teeth. Using the treats alone may not eliminate the need for brushing, but they go a long way to helping decrease the need to brush as often.
What Do I Look For in Dental Treats For Pets?
Pet dental treats need to be different than normal treats for dogs. The right kind of treat should also contain ingredients other than mint to freshen breath. For example, parsley contains enzymes to break down odor-causing particles in your dog’s stomach and dill helps prevent bacterial growth and the early stages of gingivitis. Both of these ingredients are natural and high quality additions to pet dental treats. Other ingredients to look for in treats for oral health are chlorophyll, which balances acid levels in your dog’s stomach and helps deodorize your dog’s body and fennel, which helps control bacteria and is a natural breath freshener.