Health

  • Apr
  • 11

Companion Animal Dental Care

Posted by at 5:44 AM | Permalink | 1 Comment


Companion Animal Dental Care by Guest BloggerRecently, I asked my vet about having my canine companion/best buddy Pete’s (pictured) teeth cleaned. Now, understand that I am someone who flosses daily, has never had a cavity, and faithfully wore a retainer for years after my braces came off. You could say that I’m a bit of a dental hygiene geek. I guess my geekiness extends to doggie dental hygiene, because when the vet looked in Pete’s mouth, he seemed puzzled. He told me that Pete’s teeth were so clean that a professional cleaning simply wasn’t necessary! Hooray for prevention! And hooray for honest vets!

What about your dog or cat? Could your animal companion be in a Tom’s of Maine toothpaste ad, or is Fido’s or Fluffy’s breath so stinky that you hold yours every time he or she woofs, yawns, or meows? Good dental hygiene for your animal companion isn’t just about having pearly white choppers-although that’s a nice benefit. It’s also essential to his or her overall health. For instance, did you know that if your dog or cat’s gums were to become infected and abscessed, it would allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream? This can cause complications with the liver, the kidneys, and even the heart!

If you haven’t already done so, why not start your best buddy on an oral hygiene plan today? The following are some tips on how to begin:

  • Start very, very slowly. Use toothpaste that is specifically formulated for animals (as human toothpaste can upset animals’ tummies), and allow your animal companion to lick the paste off your finger. You may have to try a few different ones to find a flavor that your cat or dog likes. (Pete hates peppermint but loves vanilla!)
  • Once your animal companion accepts the paste, put a dab on your finger, and gently run it along your animal’s teeth. When Fido or Fluffy is OK with this (it may take several days-be patient!), try doing the same thing using a soft toothbrush designed for animals’ gums and teeth, and make small, gentle circles along the gum line.
  • Be sure to provide lots of praise throughout, and give Fido or Fluffy a treat, playtime, or a walk afterward so that the brushing will be seen as a pleasant experience.
  • Try to make brushing part of your animal companion’s daily routine-perhaps right after you brush your teeth!

Call your vet and make an appointment as soon as possible if you notice any of the following warning signs:

  • Yellow or brown tartar buildup along the gum line
  • Inflamed, red, swollen, bleeding, receding, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Broken teeth
  • Tooth resorption-a common and very painful condition in cats, in which the tooth basically dissolves
  • Change in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face or mouth, or depression

Your animal companion is sure to thank you for your efforts with sweet-smelling doggie or kitty kisses-and that’s a reason for both of you to smile!

This post by Mylie Thompson was originally published on PETA Living.

Posted to Health | Posted to Tags: , , , ,

More:

Bookmark and Share
1 Comment

Subscribe to this post's comment RSS.

    Chazie says...

    April 18th, 2010, 9:06 am

    I wash my cat’s teeth with my aloe vera toothpaste from forever living products i sell, and animals love it. there is no problem by swalowing it cuz it’s all natural and flour free.

Post a Comment

Please keep comments polite, constructive, and on topic. All fields in bold are required.

About Health

Improve your health, save animals, and protect the planet.

Recent Comments

Disclaimer

The information and views provided here are intended for informational and preliminary educational purposes only. From time to time, content may be posted on the site regarding various financial planning and human and animal health issues. Such content is never intended to be and should never be taken as a substitute for the advice of readers' own financial planners, veterinarians, or other licensed professionals. You should not use any information contained on this site to diagnose yourself or your companion animals' health or fitness. Readers in need of applicable professional advice are strongly encouraged to seek it. Except where third-party ownership or copyright is indicated or credited regarding materials contained in this blog, reproduction or redistribution of any of the content for personal, noncommercial use is enthusiastically encouraged.