Many groomers offer an added service of teeth brushing for dogs and some more daring groomers offer it for cats as well. But do brushing Fido’s or Tabby’s teeth really accomplish anything? How often should they be brushed to maintain healthy chompers?
Believe it or not, it is recommended that at home care for Fido’s and Tabby’s teeth should be a daily routine. According to www.peteducation.com a good routine is after you brush your teeth, brush your dog’s or cat’s teeth. This will develop a habit and your dog and possible your cat will look forward to it. Keep in mind, that you should not use human toothpaste or baking soda to brush your pet’s teeth. You need buy pet toothpaste.
Pet toothpaste is flavored. People like mint while dogs and cats like liver, chicken, fish or peanut butter. Also there are natural enzymes in pet toothpaste that targets the bacteria found in your pet’s mouth. Most importantly, human tooth paste and baking soda are not meant to be swallowed and can give Fido or Tabby a tummy ache; pet toothpaste is safe for them to swallow.
Now, if you are suppose to be brushing your dog’s teeth everyday, why does your groomer offer it as well? Because groomers know that more often than not, most people are not brushing their dog’s teeth daily or even weekly. However, brushing your dog’s teeth once every four to six weeks when they get groomed is not a long term solution. Some groom shops, like www.talltailspetsalon.com , offer an annual teeth brushing package; this is where you pay one price annually and you can come in as often as you like to get your dog’s teeth brushed.
Another option is water treatments. This does not replace teeth brushing just like fluorinated water doesn’t replace teeth brushing for people. However it will help with bacteria build up which is the main cause of “dog breath.”
For both dogs and cats, dry food is much better for their teeth than wet food. Wet food particles can build up along the gum line and cause bacteria growth. Dry food also helps remove plaque and tarter build up along the gum line.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association (www.healthypet.com) you should have an annual dental exam done by your vet. Your vet will examine your pet’s teeth and gums. Infections in the gums can become very serious by getting into the blood stream and moving bacteria into other organs. If this is the case, your vet can prescribe medications. Vets also offer a procedure called scaling. This is for serious dental problems. The vet will put your pet under general anesthesia and clean each tooth. However, anytime you put your pet “under” you are taking a big risk.