The Do's and Dont's of Caring For Your Pet's Teeth
1. DON’T let your dog chew on bones, sticks or rocks. People are always surprised by this but several times a month our practice sees broken teeth due to dogs chew on bones (cooked or raw) or rocks, and often we extract wooden slivers from a dogs mouth. If a tooth is broken if acts as a path for bacteria into the bone around the tooth and is very painful.
2. DO brush your pet's teeth. It only takes 2 minutes and we are happy to give you a demo. You’ll want to brush at least 3 times a week to make a difference in your pets mouth and if your pet doesn’t have allergies, choose a pet-friendly flavored tooth paste. With a little practice they will think the it is all about getting attention and a treat!
3. DON’T waste your money or risk your pet's health with non-anesthetic dental procedures. The vast majority of dental issues occur below the gum line and without anesthesia they cannot do a proper cleaning of the teeth. Plus, while the patient is under anesthesia we can do one dental radiograph to get a better evaluation of their dental health.
4. DO consider a Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved dental diet. If your pets don’t have any food allergies or other dietary requirements, consider a dental food diet that is VOHC approved.
5. DON’T buy a dental product that doesn’t have a VOHC label. There are many products out there that claim to be ‘dental’ but have no research to back up their claims. If they haven’t been proven to the Council, don’t waste your money!
6. DO replace tooth-damaging toys for tooth-protecting ones. Nylon tennis balls can erode the crowns of teeth, so replace them with dental chews, Kong toys, etc.. We have many options at our hospital or online.
7. DON’T skip Veterinary exams. During annual exams your pet's teeth are examined and recommendations will be made regarding its dental health and needs
If you have any questions about your pet's teeth, call your Veterinarian.
Dr. Renee Ferguson