Pearly Whites: Cleaning Those Dog and Cat Teeth

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Did you know that pets need their teeth cleaned just like we do, and that healthy gums and teeth can help your cats and dogs stay healthier all over? According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), almost two-thirds of pet parents aren’t protecting their pet’s teeth properly.

What can you do to make sure your pet’s dental hygiene is up to snuff?

Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly, one to three times a week, is a good target schedule. If you’re wondering how to begin, take a look at these helpful tips on brushing your dog’s or cat’s teeth. You’ll need pet formulated toothpaste and brushes, and a little patience.

As with any training, the more you do something with your pet, the more accustomed to it they’ll become. Try handling your pet’s muzzle more often, touching their mouth and lips gently and calmly. Never underestimate the power of praise, so make the experience a good one for your pet and shower praise on them like they’ve just completed a fantastic trick. (And maybe even reward them with a dental treat.)

Take the opportunity to check out your pet’s mouth—inflamed gums, loose teeth, and cysts under the tongue can be signs of larger problems, so you’ll want to take your pet to the veterinarian.

Your pet’s breath may never smell minty-fresh, but regular brushing will help to keep away truly offensive breath, and will help your pet’s teeth and gums stay strong.