February is dental health month. If you are not already doing it, now is a great time to start brushing your pet’s teeth. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Pick up a pet toothbrush and toothpaste. We sell starter kits in our office that include both. Do not use the same toothpaste you use to brush your teeth as it can make your pet sick. If your pet does not care for a toothbrush, you can also use just your finger or a small piece of gauze.
- Start by just adding some toothpaste to the end of the toothbrush or finger brush and allow your dog or cat to lick the toothpaste off the end of the brush. You may need to do this for a few days so your pet gets used to the toothbrush.
- Slowly work the toothbrush into your pet’s mouth. Get the toothpaste along the outside of the teeth, especially those back teeth. There is no need to brush up and down, side to side, or go to the inside of the teeth as most tartar builds up on the outside of the teeth.
- If brushing daily seems impossible, try to do it at least a few days each week. We have some great products to help you out including water additives and dental treats.
Be sure to visit Grafton Animal Hospital at least once a year to have a dental assessment performed by your pet’s veterinarian. At that time, it may be recommended that your pet have a professional dental cleaning. Stay tuned for more information about your pet’s dental health.
A special thank you goes out to Dr. Frost and “Hazel” who demonstrated brushing in the included photo.