Every pet owner wants to make sure their furry friend stays happy and healthy for as long as possible. They probably take their pet to a veterinarian regularly because of this. However, do you know the best way to care for your pet between animal hospital visits?

Did you know that one of the biggest aspects of your pet’s health is their dental health? It’s estimated 80% of dogs and 70% cats show signs of dental disease by age three, leading to abscesses, loose teeth, and chronic pain. February is National Pet Dental Health Month – here’s how you can make the most of it and learn to take care of your pet’s teeth.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

If you’re brushing your own teeth every day, why wouldn’t you brush your pet’s teeth just as frequently? It might be true that out in the wild, animals wouldn’t have someone to brush their teeth for them. Because of that, it can be easy to think that brushing your pet’s teeth is unnecessary. However, this isn’t entirely true. Brushing your animal’s teeth can help them stay healthier for longer and help them avoid any pet dental health problems between visits to vets.

Be careful, though. Brushing your pet’s teeth in the wrong way has the potential to do more harm than good. Make sure that you use these proper techniques for brushing their teeth:

  • Use a soft-bristled brush or a finger brush.
  • Toothpaste is optional, but if you do use toothpaste, make sure it’s one specifically formulated for pets. Human toothpaste can actually be harmful to cats and dogs.
  • Aim to brush for 30 seconds on either side of the mouth, but brushing some is better than not brushing at all.
  • Be patient; it’ll likely take your pet time to acclimate to having their teeth brushed.

Give Your Pet Healthy Chew Toys

In addition to proper brushing, providing healthy chew toys can mentally stimulate your pet while also helping them strengthen their teeth and jaws. Many pets don’t get the same sort of opportunity to strengthen their jaws in homes that they would out in the wild. Providing non-abrasive and healthy toys for your pet can help them, at least partially, manage their own dental health. Also, make sure any chew treats you give your pet are beneficial to your pet’s dental health. Treats, like real bones, can actually hurt their mouths when small fragments splinter off the bone.

Make Use Of Veterinary Specialty Centers

If you suspect your pet may be dealing with dental disease or discomfort, schedule an appointment with a veterinary specialty center. A specialty veterinarian will be able to help diagnose your pet’s dental problems if they’re showing signs of jaw or tooth pain, including excessive drooling, a change in eating habits, or difficulty chewing.

Need to schedule an appointment with a veterinary specialty center to check up on your pet’s dental health for this National Pet Dental Health Month? Contact us today or directly call us at 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty services on site, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.