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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth

Maintaining your pet's oral hygiene means more than simply having fresh breath. Dental hygiene is directly linked to other components of your pet's overall health, including your pet's heart, kidneys, and liver.

Try an alternative dental product

Brushing your pet's teeth may initially be difficult and uncomfortable for your pet. If this is the case, you may want to consider an alternative product and progress to a toothbrush once your pet is more comfortable with the experience.

Use toothpaste formulated for pets

Human toothpaste is not intended to be swallowed by pets as pet toothpastes are. Sodium lauryl sulphate is a common ingredient found in human toothpaste and causes a foaming action, which pets dislike.

Be patient when brushing

When starting out, be patient when attempting to brush your pet's teeth. Initially your pet may be uncomfortable with the process, which is normal. Try to be as comforting with your pet as possible. For cats you may want to wrap them in a blanket or towel to prevent scratching. Keep brushing sessions short to allow your pet to become familiar with the experience. Start with five second sessions and work up to two minutes day.

Follow up with dental rinses, chews, and treats

Using a water additive, chew or treat in addition to brushing can help maintain your pet's oral health and fresh breath. Water additives can be added to your pet's water bowl to kill bacteria both in the both and as your pet drinks. Even treat time can have it's benefits! When rewarding your pet, consider a chew or treat formulated for dental care.

Brushing only removes plaque. If you notice tartar buildup on your pet's teeth and gums, you will need to schedule a professional dental cleaning for your pet with your veterinarian.

Tip

Brushing only removes plaque. If you notice tartar buildup on your pet's teeth and gums, you will need to schedule a professional dental cleaning for your pet with your veterinarian.

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