Pet Dental Care Tips From Alexander at the Park Veterinary Hospital
Pets are like members of the family, and at Alexander at the Park Veterinary Hospital in Durham, NC, we know you put lots of thought and care into their health and well-being. You buy the best food, make sure they get plenty of exercise, give them extra snuggles and treats, and bring them in for annual veterinary exams. Even the most diligent pet owners, however, overlook one essential aspect of their pets' health: dental care.
Up to 85% of dogs and as many as 90% of cats over four years old suffer from periodontal disease in some form. Fortunately, many of these issues are preventable and treatable, and it's as simple as starting great dental care habits for your pets.
Brush Those Teeth
Just like with humans, a critical aspect of pet dental care is regular tooth brushing to combat the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Ideally, it would be done every day, but veterinarians agree that two or three times a week is certainly better than nothing. Try to incorporate it into your daily routine, if possible, before feeding your pet or while giving a treat, but be patient, especially if you have an older pet. There will be a bit of a learning curve while you both get used to the new routine.
Have The Right Tools
Your pet should have its own toothbrush and toothpaste, and they should be pet-specific. You don’t want to use human toothpaste as it is not safe for pets since it contains many ingredients that are toxic to them, so ask our Durham veterinarian or local pet store for recommendations on a pet-safe brand.
Another tip is to invest in toys that do double duty. While they don't replace regular brushing, certain chew toys and crunchy treats can help to scrape away built-up plaque. Look for items that have a stamp that says "VOHC-approved," which means they're deemed safe for chewing by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
Schedule Pet Dental Exams
Our veterinarian may already check your pet's teeth during routine exams, but you can request a more thorough examination or schedule an appointment specifically for dental concerns or professional teeth cleaning. Like so many other medical issues, prevention is critical, and our veterinarian knows exactly what to look for and what may indicate a serious problem.
Alexander At The Park Veterinary Hospital Can Help
Whether it's your pet's first dental checkup or you have a specific concern, contact us to schedule your pet's dental exam. Our number is 919-484-9900.