Do you want to provide the best dental care for your pet? Avoid these mistakes when it comes to tooth brushing.
1. Using human toothpaste
Human toothpaste may contain poisonous ingredients for pets, such as xylitol. Other ingredients may lead to stomach upset. Reach for a toothpaste specially formulated for dogs and cats. You'll find a wide selection of flavors like beef, chicken, or seafood. (Yum!) C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste continues to clean the teeth after you finish brushing by gently scrubbing the teeth each time your pet licks the toothpaste off his or her teeth.
2. Brushing once a week
The plaque on your pet's teeth is formed from a mixture of saliva, bacteria and food particles. The formation of this hard plaque, which is difficult and usually impossible to remove by brushing alone, occurs in 24-48 hours. Ideally, your pet's teeth should be brushed every day. Setting a daily routine is helpful for you to remember and your pet will soon come to expect it. If brushing every day isn't possible, strive to brush your pet's teeth at least every other day.
3. Moving too fast
When starting an oral home care routine that includes tooth brushing, go slowly! This is a long-term routine that should continue every day of your pet's life, so invest the extra time to make it a pleasant and happy experience for both you and your pet.
Start by offering the flavored pet toothpaste as a treat to your pet. Slowly begin to lift your pet's lips, touching the teeth and the gums with your finger and finally working toward brushing the teeth with a toothbrush.
Make sure you're getting positive feedback from your pet each step of the way and slow down if your pet is backing away or resisting the next step. It's better to spend weeks, or months, to slowly introduce this routine in order to have a positive experience for years to come!
4. Forgetting the reward
Brushing the teeth should be fun! Praise your dog each step of the way and always follow up a session with a treat, special play time or a walk outside - anything your pet LOVES! Remember, your goal is to make it easy and stress-free for you and your pet!
(Sylus loves getting his teeth brushed!)
5. Waiting too long to schedule a professional teeth cleaning
Even with daily tooth brushing, your pet will need a professional teeth cleaning performed under general anesthesia. Your veterinarian will recommend oral health check-ups every 6-12 months. Annual professional teeth cleanings are recommended for dogs and cats to prevent periodontal disease. If these recommendations are ignored, dental disease will painfully progress to tooth loss and organ damage. Many pet insurance plans include annual teeth cleanings as part of their preventive care packages.