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As we roll into February 2019, it’s Dental Health for Pets month! Keeping our pets’ teeth healthy and clean is one of the most important parts of their well-being. Sometimes it is hard to get our pets to sit still and have their teeth brushed. As well, having healthy teeth allows our pets to keep several diseases at bay. At Fox Creek Animal Hospital, we think that there are a few tips that can keep your pet at optimal oral health.

Tip 1: Visit your Veterinarian!

It is important to make those regular visits to your Veterinarian to have your pets dental health assessed. They can create an oral health plan for your furry loved ones. A teeth cleaning can be scheduled so that your pet starts with a strong mouth foundation moving forward. The veterinarian will then make suggestions about the condition of your pets teeth and gums as well as make a plan for future treatment and care at home.

Tip 2: Brushing teeth at home!

Tooth care at home can be a daunting task. Getting your pet to sit still and allow you to spend all the time in the world in their mouth is almost impossible. You can start small with just allowing your pet to let you open and massage their gums with your fingers just to get them used to having their mouths open and less stressed. Your pet will likely enjoy a treat to get used to opening their mouths as well such as peanut butter. They will have a yummy taste and allow you to look at their teeth and gums. Then slowly move to a tooth brush without tooth paste and then finally with tooth paste. Make certain that you have pet approved dental products. As well, your pet may only let you do a few teeth at a time. As they get used to it, you will be able to brush their teeth fully.

Tip 3: TOYS!

Keeping your pets teeth free of tartar is an ongoing process every day. Toys can be a huge part of this process. Chewing is a natural desire for our pets. So using veterinarian approved chew toys can help work on their dental health without them really knowing that they are “brushing their own teeth”. Make sure to check that the chew toys or bones are approved and large enough to avoid choking hazards. Including products with mint involved can also help with bad breath and get them used to that taste in their pallets.

Now that you have a few tips and tricks to getting and keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy, you can spend time playing with them too. Even their food can be helpful with oral wellness, so look for one that says “tartar control” on it for an added layer of cleaning. These dog foods have “scrubbers” in the actual food to help keep their teeth clear of tartar. All of these healthy habits will increase the benefits of a happy mouth for your pet and give many more years!