Oral Health Tips for Pet Owners: Professional Cleanings and At-Home Care

Furlicks . @ 2023-08-26 17:43:02 +0530

We all adore our furry companions, and nothing brightens our day more than those toothy grins or charming meows. But just like us, our beloved dogs and cats need some dental care to keep those pearly whites shining and their breath from sending us running. In this blog, we're diving into the world of pet oral health, covering everything from professional cleanings to at-home care and even some cool natural remedies for fresh breath that will make cuddle time even more enjoyable.

Why Your Furry Friend's Oral Health Matters

Alright, let's address the elephant (or should I say puppy?) in the room. We might not think about it often, but our pets' oral health is a big deal. 

The major contributor to your pet’s poor dental health is tartar. The bacteria in their mouth, food stuck in the teeth, and saliva together form a substance called plaque. If plaque isn’t removed (by brushing teeth), it reacts with the minerals in your teeth to form a hard substance called tartar, which is usually seen as a hard yellow deposit on their pearly white teeth. It increases the risk of gum disease and can eventually cause loose teeth and pain in the gums.

Professional Cleaning: Not Just for Humans

First up, let's talk about professional dental cleanings. Yup, you read that right—our fur babies can benefit from a little dental spa day too! Just like we schedule visits to the dentist, our pets could use a trip to the vet for a dental checkup and cleaning every now and then. These visits are like a deep cleaning of your pet's mouth. The vet will remove tartar buildup, take a look for any potential issues, and maybe even perform some dental X-rays. 

At-Home Dental Care: Making it a Part of the Routine

But hold on; don't think you're off the hook just because you've booked that vet appointment. At-home care is just as important to keep those teeth and gums in tip-top shape between professional cleanings. Moreover, dog and cat dental care clinic visits can be hard on your pocket, so try to do what you can at home. Here are some effective and stress-free ways to make it a part of your routine:

  • Brushing:

    Brushing your pet's teeth is a thing, and it's not as impossible as it sounds. Grab a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste (human toothpaste is a no-no), and get brushing! Start slow and make it a positive experience. Daily is ideal, but a few times a week can work wonders too.
  • Chewing Toys and Dental Treats:

    There's nothing like a good ol' chew to keep those teeth in check. Chewing toys and dental treats help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Just make sure they're safe and appropriate for your pet's size and chewing habits. When your dog chews on chewing toys, the motion of their teeth against the toy helps remove plaque and tartar. What are dental treats? Well, they are what their name suggests—pet food that is made with certain substances that can clean their teeth while they are chewing on it. The catch here is that your pet needs to use all of their teeth to chew on the food or toys, or else it won’t do the job. 

Fresh Breath: A Natural Approach

We love our pets, but we don't always love their breath. Stinky breath has a lot to do with pet oral health. The bacteria that are deposited on the layer of plaque release a bad smell. So the next time your cats and dogs come to you for kisses, check their breath. If you get a foul smell, make sure you brush their teeth and use natural supplements for fresh breath. Below are some ways you can ensure your pet’s breath smells as fresh as a sunny morning. 

  • Water Additives

    Have you ever heard of water additives for pets? These are like magic drops you add to their water bowl. They contain ingredients like zinc chloride and sodium citrate that help break down plaque and fight bacteria, leading to fresher breath. Some ingredients are toxic to dogs and cats and should be avoided, including xylitol and chlorhexidine gluconate. 
  • Fresh Herbs

     Nature's got our back once again. Some fresh herbs, like parsley and mint, can help naturally freshen your pet's breath. You can mix a little chopped herb into their food or offer it as a treat.
  • Coconut Oil

     Ah, coconut oil—the cure-all for almost everything. Adding a tiny bit to your pet's food not only helps with digestion but can also contribute to better breath. Plus, most pets love the taste. Lauric acid in coconut oil is proven to have potent antimicrobial properties that help clear out infections in the mouth. Coconut oil is also popularly used by humans for an oral detoxification technique called oil pulling. The simple logic is that the dirt and toxins stick to the oil and are washed away with it. 
  • Natural Supplements 

    If you want to skip the hassle and also save money, start using natural oral health supplements containing ingredients like spearmint and thymol. Spearmint imparts a nice smell, while thymol fights plaque and tartar buildup.

Wrapping Up

Pet oral health is more than just a sparkling smile; it's about ensuring our four-legged family members lead happy, healthy lives. From regular professional cleanings to simple at-home routines and the wonders of natural remedies, keeping your pet's mouth in tip-top shape doesn't have to be a daunting task.

Remember, every little effort you put into cat and dog dental care pays off big time in the long run. So go ahead and give your furry friend's teeth a little extra attention. Who knows, they might even show their gratitude with an extra snuggle or a contented purr.