Dental Care for Pets: Why It is Important and What You Can Do

| June 2, 2023

Did you know that pets struggling with bad breath, discomfort when eating, and gastrointestinal issues can be linked to oral diseases like tooth decay and gum rot? Just like humans, if teeth aren’t clean, plaque and tartar can build up and lead to severe gum rot, tooth decay, and ultimately a need for dental extractions. What can you do to help prevent dental disease and keep your pet healthy and happy?   

Prevention is Key 

As with many health issues, prevention is always the best medicine. Here are a few ways you can help keep your pet’s oral health in tip-top condition.  

Brush Their Teeth Daily

Both plaque and tartar build up with every meal, so buy a pet toothbrush and act as your pet’s at-home dentist by scrubbing those teeth.   

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your pet’s teeth daily will remove food particles and prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque deposits. Don’t forget to use specially formatted pet toothpaste – they’ll most likely prefer the chicken or tuna flavour over something minty fresh. Look for products that have the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval that meet their standards for effectiveness when used as directed.    

Incorporate Dry Food into Their Diet

Though wet food is very tasty and has its benefits, encourage your pet to also eat dry kibble. When they crunch down on the kibble, it removes bits of surface plaque on their teeth. This is why pets who only eat wet food develop bad breath very quickly.  

Give Them a Chew Toy

Gnawing on a chew toy not only provides your pet with mental stimulation, but it also acts as a flossing tool. Depending on the shape of the toy, the gnawing motion can remove tartar from between their teeth.  

Book Your Dental Care Appointment at Toronto Humane Society

Toronto Humane Society’s Public Veterinary Services dental program is designed for young and healthy animals who would benefit from a preventative dental cleaning and treatment. Please note that appointments are going fast, and appointment availability is limited.  

Once you book an appointment, you’ll be asked to come in for a surgical consultation with one of our veterinarians to evaluate your pet’s overall health. The consultation helps our team to determine whether a dental procedure is in the best interest of your pet, as well as to help us provide a cost estimate based on the extent of dental treatment required. This is also a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. 

By taking these preventative measures, and by scheduling regular dental care appointments, you significantly reduce the risk of your pet developing extremely painful diseases like tooth decay. Not to mention, it will help shine those pearly whites, ensuring your pet is always smiling and camera-ready.