The very best way to help prevent periodontal disease is to brush your dog or cat’s teeth regularly. Just as it does in people, toothbrushing helps to remove plaque as it forms, reducing the damage and inflammation it can cause in the mouth. Brushing your pet’s teeth may sound like a tall-order but it is often surprisingly well tolerated by dogs and even cats. Your vet or nurse will be happy to show you exactly what to do.
Why not start getting your puppies and kittens used to having their mouths handled from the beginning, so that it is easier to brush their teeth as adults? You could even gently rub a cotton bud along their teeth so they are used to having something in their mouths. Then once they are around six months old and the delicate teething period is over, get yourself a special dog or cat toothbrush and pet toothpaste at the surgery. Your vet or vet nurse will be able to advise you on the right products and teach you how to hold your pet’s mouth so that you only need to lift their lip to reach the teeth. And it’s never too late to start so even if your dog or cat is a bit more mature, ask the nurse to give you a lesson and you might be surprised at how well you get on.
Ideally, dogs and cats should have their teeth brushed every day, or every other day, but try to do it as often as you can. Not only will you be helping to keep their teeth really clean but you will also become used to handling and looking in their mouths so any other dental problems will be spotted sooner.
Of course, toothbrushing may not be possible for all dogs and cats, perhaps you are not able to do it as often as you would like or your pet just doesn’t get used to the idea. And some pets which have already had treatment for dental disease may need a bit of extra help. Special oral health chews can help as a complement to toothbrushing and ROYAL CANIN®’s Dental diets are a great option to help support your pet’s oral hygiene too.
Why not start getting your puppies and kittens used to having their mouths handled from the beginning, so that it is easier to brush their teeth as adults? You could even gently rub a cotton bud along their teeth so they are used to having something in their mouths. Just be careful to make sure it is not chewed or swallowed.