A picture of a dog and cat representing the importance of pet dental care

Brushing your pet's teeth can help protect the overall health of your pet.

February is National Pet Dental Health Care Month for pets.  It is time to remind pet owners that caring for their pets' teeth is important!  A healthy mouth can help to keep the rest of the body healthy.  Daily tooth brushing is the most helpful step pet owners can take at home.  It keeps your furry friend's breath smelling fresher, but also reduces the spread of disease to other parts of the body.  Pet dental cleanings performed by your veterinarian can also greatly improve your pet's dental health.

Brushing Your Pet's Teeth

Many people chuckle at the thought of brushing their pet's teeth.  It can be quite comical watching your spouse chase your pet around the house with a toothbrush and peanut butter toothpaste!  However, with patient training, many pets will eventually allow owners to brush their teeth - even cats!  Teeth brushing is not a highly complicated process with pets.  Don't expect to brush every tooth on every side.  Aim to quickly brush as many teeth as possible.  Twenty to thirty seconds a day is usually adequate to remove plaque from the teeth.  The goal is to remove plaque from the surface of the teeth before it has a chance to harden into tartar.  It is sometimes hard to remember to brush your pet's teeth with our busy lives.  Try to link it to something you do every day, such as brushing your own teeth.   Make it fun for your pet and you! Click here to view a how-to video.

Pet Dental Cleanings

Your veterinarian can perform professional dental cleanings to help improve your pet's dental health.  Dental cleanings are performed under anesthesia to remove tartar and clean under the gums.  Extractions may be necessary for severely diseased teeth.  In addition, complete oral examinations can also be performed while the pet is under anesthesia. Veterinarians look for any abnormalities in areas that are tough to see while the pet is awake.   Veterinarians are able to improve dental health and reduce pain and disease in pets' mouths through professional dental cleanings.