14 February 2020

Dental Health Recap               

As pet owners, it is our responsibility to look after our pet’s teeth.  Dog and cats can develop a build-up of plaque which, if left untreated, can become tartar which could cause swollen and painful gums known as gingivitis. If your pet has gingivitis this may mean bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and, in extreme cases, has been known to cause heart and kidney problems – this should highlight the importance of good dental hygiene for our furry friends!


The following are signs there may be a problem with your pet’s mouth:


  • Smelly breath
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Yellow crusty build up on the teeth
  • Dropping food from the side of the mouth
  • Excessive drooling


As with most things, prevention is better than cure and this is no exception.  If possible, you should brush your pet’s teeth regularly. As a rule, dogs seem to tolerate this more readily than cats but once your pet is used to the process it is much easier than you think.  Make sure you are using an animal-friendly toothpaste as human toothpaste is toxic to dog and cats. It might be easier to start off with a finger brush and build up to a toothbrush as your pet becomes more used to it.  Providing your pet with natural chews and toys that have been designed to improve dental health will also help control plaque and tartar build-up.  Changing your pet’s diet to a dry kibble will also help in the fight against dental disease. Tinned meat and pouches of pet food contribute to plaque build-up so adding in dry food or changing over to a complete dry diet will help a great deal.



There are various other products on the market aimed at helping you care for your pet’s mouth such as Plaque Off that can be added to the food or additives that can be put in the drinking water.


At some point in your pets’ life, they may need to undergo a general anaesthetic for a dental procedure and although this may be worrying for you it is all part of looking after your furry friend’s health.  A healthy pet starts with healthy teeth and gums!


If you want more advice on these or on any part of looking after your pets dental health then call one of the UK Registered Vet Nurses on the 24/7 Careline on 0333 332 1926

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