February is National Pet Dental Health Month. There’s no better time to consider a few ways to make sure your pet’s teeth and gums stay healthy! Here, your Hudson Valley, NY vet offers a few tips on maintaining your pet’s dental health.
Sit down with your pet about once a week or so in order to give the mouth a quick once-over. Gently peel back your pet’s lips to expose the gums and teeth, and look for anything that you think doesn’t look right—redness, inflammation and/or swelling, bleeding, misaligned teeth, excessive brown-colored plaque build-up, etc. Let your vet know right away if something seems amiss.
Pick up a canine- or feline-formulated toothpaste and a pet toothpaste at your local pet supply store. Regular brushing sessions with the paste and brush are the best way to keep your animal friend’s entire mouth clean! Start by massaging your pet’s teeth and gums a bit with your finger; this gets him used to the brushing sensation. Next, introduce the paste and brush. Eventually, you’ll be able to work your way around to your pet’s entire mouth.
Does your pet have a healthy supply of chew toys? They’re about more than providing fun! Chew toys actually help to give your pet’s mouth a good workout, and they help to scrape away a lot of the loose plaque along your pet’s outer tooth surfaces. This removes it before it can harden into dangerous tartar. Make sure your animal friend has plenty of chew toys to play with every day.
Don’t forget that a quality diet is a great way to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. When your pet is getting the proper nutrients, the teeth and gums can grow healthy and strong. Fresh water is also important, as it helps to flush out the mouth and get rid of leftover food, plaque particles, and other grime. Ask your vet about a great food choice for your pet, as well as information on the proper portion size.
Professional dental cleanings at your veterinarian’s office are another way to make sure that your pet’s dental health stays in peak condition. The procedure gets at the parts of your pet’s mouth that brushing simply can’t reach! If your pet is due for a cleaning, call your Hudson Valley, NY animal hospital.