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February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Dental hygiene is an important aspect of your pet’s overall health.

The same way that it’s important for people to visit their dentists regularly, it’s important for your pet to visit their vet at least once a year to get their teeth checked out. This yearly check-up is helpful in keeping your pet’s teeth clean as well as finding out if there are any potential health concerns.

Coming up with a dental routine is important in maintaining your pet’s health.There are a variety of different ways you can keep up with your pet’s dental care.

Dental Cleaning
A professional dental cleaning from a veterinarian is more thorough than regular tooth brushing (although that is still very important). Professional cleanings remove any built-up plaque or tartar. During this procedure your vet will also examine to see if any other problems exist.

Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth every day. However, this is not possible for everyone. If you can do it once a week, good. If you can do it multiple times a week, great. If using toothpaste, be sure it is meant for pets, not people. Toothpaste for people contains fluoride and other ingredients that can cause stomach upset in pets or can potentially be toxic. If you don’t use toothpaste, water will do just fine! Brushing your pet’s teeth with a wet toothbrush will still be effective in removing plaque and cleaning the teeth.

Aside from toothbrushing and professional cleanings, there are a wide variety of dental hygiene products on the market that make cleaning your pets’ teeth a breeze.

Dental Chews
Dental chews are treats specifically formulated to clean the teeth. Their shape, combined with their ingredients, help remove plaque and tartar. These treats/chews can be given daily or a couple times throughout the week.

Aside from specific dental chews, anything that your pet chews is going to help clean the teeth. The act of chewing helps loosen any plaque build-up that your pets may have.

Some popular dental chews are Greenies, Whimzees, OraVet, Blue Buffalo Dental Bones, and Merrick Fresh Kisses

Brushless Toothpaste
Made by Ark Naturals, Brushless Toothpaste is an edible treat that acts as toothbrushing, without the brush. These natural chews have a patented toothpaste center that helps with plaque, tartar, and bacteria control. Outside ridges made from alfalfa, cinnamon, vanilla, and clove helps freshen the breath.

Water Additives
Dental hygiene is as easy as drinking water! Water additives are a simple, easy to use product. Just add it to your pet’s water and let it work its magic. While water additives don’t replace brushing or cleanings completely, they do help breakdown some of the plaque and tartar and help freshen the breath.

Cleaning Gel or Spray
Cleaning gels and sprays are applied directly to the teeth and gumline. With daily use, plaque and tartar will be dissolved, leaving sparkling clean teeth.


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