Imagine if you never brushed your teeth or had them cleaned. As you can imagine, things would eventually start to go very, very bad inside your mouth: teeth would rot and decay, gums would become inflamed and infected. Bacteria from those rotting teeth would eventually travel into your bloodstream and could cause other serious health problems. And we haven’t even mentioned how painful it could be.
It’s the same scenario for your dog or cat. While some people might laugh at the idea of brushing their pet’s teeth or taking them for a dental cleaning, the fact is that by age three, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some evidence of periodontal disease—it’s the single most common health issue for pets.
Prairie Animal Health Centre offers complete pet oral health services, including:
- Preventative Dental Care
- Annual Anesthetic Dental Cleanings
- Oral surgery/extractions
We also highly recommend daily brushing of your pet’s teeth, and you can check out the videos below for some tips on how to do it. If you have a pet who won’t tolerate brushing, we carry a wide variety of home dental care products including oral gels, rinses, chews, treats and foods.
Dental Disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem we see in our companion animals. Keeping on top of your pets’ oral health can increase his or her longevity and overall, make their life more enjoyable! We recommend dental exams every 6 months so we can properly assess your pets’ mouth. We offer dental cleanings to remove tartar buildup and promote the healthiest mouth your pet can have!
Prairie Animal Health Centre also carries a wide variety of home dental care products. Brushing is the most important way to prevent any sort of buildup on their teeth. If brushing is not possible, there are a number of oral gels and rinses as well as chews, treats & diets! Ask your veterinarian what you can do to help your pet live a longer, happier life with a healthier mouth!
Dental Care Recommendations
1. Brushing: Must be done daily!
- Most important way to decrease plaque and tartar build-up.
- Brush the outside borders of the teeth once a day for 60 seconds in a back and forth motion.
- Brush at a 45° angle to the gum line to help get under the gums.
- Children soft bristle tooth brushes for dogs and tufted tooth brushes for cats.
- Have added enzymes to break down plaque and tartar.
- Apply to the toothbrush before brushing.
- Come in many different flavors to help your pet enjoy the experience of getting their teeth brushed.
- DO NOT use human toothpaste on your pet as they contain detergents and have the potential to make your pet vomit.
3. Oral Gels
- Antibacterial and breath freshener agent can be used in place of toothpaste. Place one to two drops on the surface of the toothbrush. Can be used after brushing. Apply one to two drops to your finger and apply to the outside surface of the teeth (repeat for other side of the mouth).
- Mix in the white powder and shake to dissolve. Keep refrigerated. Product will change to a green color over time, this is ok. Please discard if product turns brown or black.
4. Oral Rinses
- Can be water additives or directly applied to the mouth (refer to staff).
- Used in pets not willing to get their teeth brushed.
- Most commonly used as a breath freshener.
5. Chews & Treats
- Main action is to get your pet chewing and producing saliva to flush out the mouth.
- CET chews – Antibacterial and anti-plaque properties. Give one treat per day...
- Greenies – Anti-plaque and tartar properties. Give one treat per day. Following instructions on the bag for feline Greenies...
- Medi-Chews - Antibacterial and anti-plaque properties. Give one treat per day.
- Kongs – Great toy for chewing. Make sure to get an appropriate sized toy for your pet.
- Hill’s T/D - Can be given to your pet as a sole diet or used as a treat to reduce plaque and tartar. Treat instructions are 1 treat per 5 pounds of body weight per day.
- Medi-Cal Dental – Used as a sole diet for the reduction of plaque and tartar. Refer to your veterinarian
We recommend using product that have the VOHC seal. This means that the product has be tested and proven to work to reduce plaque, tartar or both and that it is safe for your pets. Simply visit www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm for a complete list of the products.
It is estimated that 50 % dental disease in dogs and 80% in cats, occur beneath the gum line. That means they are not visible to us, but can cause significant pain or discomfort to your pet. Taking radiographs of all teeth is a part of every dental cleaning as 2/3 of the tooth is below the gumline and can not be fully assessed without them. A veterinarian views the pictures and any abnormalities are dealt with at the time of your pet’s dental prophylaxis.
Dental disease is one of the most common health problems in cats and dogs. 85% of pets by the age of 3 have some form of dental disease. It can start as early as 6 months of age, especially when pets are replacing their baby (deciduous) teeth with a set of permanent adult teeth which occurs between 4-6 months of age. Common problems are retained baby teeth, crooked teeth as well as over and under bites. These can all create a higher chance for plaque and tartar build up and wear on other teeth in the mouth. Removing retained baby teeth at neuter or spay time is recommended. Keeping your pets mouth clean and healthy has been proven to extend your pet’s life on average by 2 years.
Dental disease has multiple stages: Stage 1 Mild Tartar; Stage 2 Mild-Moderate Tartar; Stage 3 Moderate Tartar and Mild Gingivitis; Stage 4 Moderate-Heavy Tartar and Moderate Gingivitis; Stage 5 Severe Tartar and Severe Gingivitis(usually involves missing or loose teeth).
Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is the best way to prevent build up. The earlier you start brushing the easier it will be to do. We recommend using only soft bristle brushes and pet approved toothpastes.
It only takes 24 hours for the bacteria and food debris in the mouth to form plaque, which is removable with brushing. It takes 24-72 hours for that plaque to harden into tartar which needs to be removed under general anesthesia.
Introduce proper chew toys and/or treats. Avoid very hard toys/treats such as bones, rocks, sticks and tennis balls as these can wear down the teeth or can even lead to broken teeth.