One common topic encountered during examinations at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital is caring for pets’ teeth at home. This can seem like a daunting task, and owners often have questions about where to begin and what options there are for oral home care. The following are KAH’s Top Four Tips on Oral Home Care for pets!
- Start early—begin handling a puppy or kitten’s mouth as early as possible. Introduce toothpaste and the toothbrush slowly to get pets used to the idea. For older pets, start by letting them lick some toothpaste off a finger and gradually introduce the toothbrush.
Make it positive—offer a favorite treat or even a meal after brushing to build up acceptance and create positive experiences. Dental treats (see #4) are a great option for this!
- Brush often—once a day is ideal, but at least 3 times a week will make a difference in the buildup of plaque and tartar. Check out our YouTube channel for a video with a demonstration on how to brush teeth!
- Consider nonbrushing options such as Hills t/d or dental treats (Greenies for cats, OraVet
Chews for dogs) for pets who aren’t as accepting of brushing. There are also dental wipes and water additives. Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends using only products endorsed by the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council), an independent third-party organization that tests all pet dental products on the market.
- Choose a professional sealant to be applied after a professional cleaning. KAH offers OraVet and Sanos sealants, which help slow the buildup of plaque and tartar and extend the efficacy of a cleaning. Ask a Kingsbrook veterinarian for more information!