We strongly recommend some form of home dental care for your new puppy. Teaching your puppy to have their mouth handled can be beneficial in many ways; at the groomer, the vet, and even at home when children are playing with or handling your puppy. Daily brushing is not only important to prevent plaque and gingivitis, it also helps to protect the heart, kidneys, and liver from the bacteria that can enter the blood stream each time a pet chews.
Home dental care can be very successful in maintaining good dental health for our pets. However as with people, daily brushing does not eliminate the need to have professional dental cleanings done on occasion, but can greatly extend the time between cleanings. .
Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding home dental care for your pet or the products we recommend.
This technique can be applied to any pet that has never had a teeth-brushing routine.
Brushing your pets teeth
- Encourage your pet to come to you for love and hugs at a similar time each day. Make this time a fun experience for your pet, giving your pet special attention, special treats and loves. Once your pet is eagerly attending your new daily routine, you can start paying special attention to the area around your pet's mouth. Rub your pet’s cheeks, chin and all around the mouth. Once your pet is accepting of this, gently start to lift up a lip and then put your finger on your pet’s teeth. Do this only when your pet is thoroughly comfortable with you working around the mouth. If at any time you are nervous that your pet may bite, stop and consult your veterinarian. Pets generally take a few weeks to become accustom to this routine. .
- Each day progress a bit further, with your finger massaging the gums and touching the teeth until you are able to touch all teeth from the big molars in the back of the mouth to the big canine teeth in front. Your next step is to start using specially made pet toothpaste on your finger as you massage the gums and teeth. These pet toothpastes are available at Companion Animal Hospital and come in flavors like poultry and seafood. They are non-foaming and are made specifically for cats and dogs.
- The next step is to graduate to a pet toothbrush. These smaller toothbrushes were originally designed as pediatric toothbrushes to teach toddlers to have their teeth brushed, but they work great for pets as well! These toothbrushes are available for purchase at Companion Animal Hospital, as well as the baby sections of most drug stores. Other available options are a “finger brush”, a small, soft brush that slips over the tip of your finger. Many people find they work best in larger dogs. Please ask us if you are interested in trying this type of brush.
- If you find that your pet is just not cooperative and you feel it is simply not going to work, there are alternatives available that will help prevent plaque and gingivitis, and keep breath fresh. We recommend the following products as good alternatives to brushing, and all are available at Companion Animal Hospital.
- Oravet is a once weekly, easy to apply oral gel applied to your pet’s teeth to prevent plaque and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Developed by Veterinary Dentists, this product is added to your pets drinking water to fight plaque and freshen breath
- Chews similar in appearance to raw hides, they are specifically designed to prevent plaque build up and freshen breath. Pets love them, and they come in canine and feline versions. Always supervise your pet when they are given a CET chew.