Your pets’ dental health

By Patricia Durocher • 11 August 2020

Did you know that oral disease is one of the main health problems encountered by pets?

While these diseases may seem harmless and targeted to one part of the body, they can create a great deal of discomfort, severe pain and cause illness and infection elsewhere in the body, spread by the blood. At the shelter, it’s not uncommon for us to have to pull out all a dog’s teeth due to very poor hygiene resulting from a former owner’s considerable negligence.

Do you sometimes have a slight toothache? Imagine the pain felt by an animal when all its teeth are damaged, eaten away by tartar and tooth decay, partly infected and hanging on by a thread. Many animals will eat their kibble without chewing it, because their teeth hurt too much. Unfortunately, these examples are not exceptions. Being a good pet owner not only means training your pet well, but also taking care of its health. As well as the vaccinations and deworming we have to give our pets every year, a dental examination (carried out during the annual veterinary check-up) and dental care are very important.

To ensure your pet’s dental health, here are a few tips:

  • Choose a “dental” diet. Avoid giving only canned food, which has no effect on teeth. You can find this type of food at the vet’s as well as in pet stores.
  • Brush your teeth regularly (see technique below).
  • Visit your veterinarian annually for a dental examination as part of your pet’s general check-up. This monitoring will enable us to assess the situation and act quickly in the event of a problem. Scaling could be performed a few times in a pet’s life to maintain good oral health as a preventative measure, or to treat problems quickly in your pet’s best interest.

As in humans, brushing prevents tartar, but cannot remove it. It is therefore necessary to check with a veterinarian which procedure is best for your pet. The famous tooth-brushing routine may sound scary, but it’s very simple to do when you follow the steps:

  • Use an animal-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Before using the toothbrush, frequently manipulate your pet’s mouth with your finger and reward him.
  • Then add a small amount of toothpaste to your finger and massage the gums and teeth.
  • Finally, integrate the toothbrush and brush gently without too much pressure.
  • Ideally, brush your pet’s teeth every day.

In short, dental health is an aspect often neglected by homeowners. Make sure you follow up with preventive care to avoid years of suffering for your pet.


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