Regularly brushing your dog’s or cat’s teeth with pet-specific toothpaste is an important part of pet dental care. But there’s more to pet dental care than just brushing teeth. And that’s good news! Let’s start with some options you may not have considered:pet dental care

Probiotics

A range of bacteria thrive in the gut of humans and animals. Probiotics are living microorganisms—like those found in yogurt—that promote healthy bacteria. When the bacteria are in balance, the health benefits include a dynamic digestive system, a strong immune system, and good oral health.

When there is an imbalance, the bad bacteria can flourish causing infection and inflammation, which when left unchecked, results in periodontal disease and bad breath.

“We now have another tool to help combat the destructive bacteria that cause abscesses and infections in the mouth. The beneficial bacteria in the probiotic supplement found in Entero by TruBenefitsTM aid in mouth and throat health, and establish a healthy oral flora that competes with the destructive bacteria,” said Dr. Laura Weis, co-owner of Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center and Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care.

This probiotic supplement is specially formulated for pets and contains the naturally-occurring microorganisms that promote healthy oral and intestinal health. Additional supplements that support pet dental health include vitamins and minerals such as vitamins E and calcium fluoride, as well as an antioxidant like coenzyme 10.

Specialty food and treats

Contrary to popular opinion, dry kibble does not help to clean your pet’s teeth. Kibble fractures when your pet bites down so it doesn’t “scrape” against the teeth; therefore, dry kibble itself does not aid in dental care or improve oral health.  There are a few prescription dental foods that, when fed as the majority of the diet, will help to keep the teeth clean. Foods and treats that promote dental health may also contain natural enzymes that help break down the bacteria in plaque that leads to destructive tartar.  Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal on any treats, food or other dental aids. This certification process assures the products actually work!

Dental toys

Hard rubber toys such as a KongTM or shapes with ridges or a nubby texture are good choices for pets to chew on.

And last but certainly not least…

Professional exams, cleanings and regular brushing

Schedule a dental exam and professional cleaning with your veterinary practice. Would you go a lifetime without ever visiting a dentist? No, and neither should your pet. Dental radiographs will show problems in the tooth or under the gum line that cannot be detected with a simple look in the mouth. A professional cleaning can remove plaque and resolve problems like cracked, loose, or rotting teeth.

A brushing routine can be started at any time, but beginning at the puppy or kitten stage is recommended. Ask your veterinarian for help in establishing a brushing routine, good technique, and getting the proper brush and toothpaste—never use human toothpaste! If your pet is groomed regularly, ask if teeth brushing is part of the service.

A healthy mouth supported by preventive pet dental care is a win-win for you and your dog or cat.  As always, consult with your veterinarian about your pet’s dental care routine, and which diet, supplements and products are best for your pet.

Holiday House Pet Resort Grooming Salon and The Spa on State offer teeth brushing. Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care offers non-anesthetic dental cleanings through Pet Dental Services for dogs and cats that qualify.

Call 215-345-6960 for more information or to schedule an appointment at Holiday House Pet Resort or Doylestown Veterinary Hospital.