It’s not just us that need to look after our teeth to keep a winning smile!
At least 70% adult dogs and cats could suffer from peridonatal disease. This affects the gums, and also, if left unchecked could even affect bone and other supporting tissues of the teeth.
Regular dental checks with your vet (at least annually) can help make sure that problems don’t develop that can’t be reversed.
Pets generally hide pain well, but you may spot some signs that all is not well, which could mean dental problems. These include reduced grooming or your pet being generally quieter. As things progress you might see that they become reluctant to eat or smell bad breath. As always, if you’re concerned that your pet is off colour, then arrange an appointment with your vet.
Regular toothbrushing will help prevent problems developing. Ideally you should start when your pet is young so they get used to it and accept it as routine (like grooming). But even adult cats and dogs can learn to enjoy it (yes, really!) With an adult pet it’s best to check with your vet before you start, just give your pet the all-clear that he or she is free from infection, and there are no sore parts in their mouth – if your pet’s mouth is already sore then the first attempt could really put them off.
Your vet can also advise on tooth cleaning, or you can talk to an expert at a pet store.
But basically as with any other activity, make it calm, make the sessions short at first and reward – praise, play or perhaps give a dental treat – whatever best switches your pet on when they are learning. That is a great way to lead to even more winning smiles!