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Pet Dental Health Tips

Did you know that February is Pet Dental Health Month? While taking care of your pet’s teeth is always important, this is a great time to offer some pointers on pet dental care. A Bolingbrook, IL vet discusses keeping your furry pal’s choppers healthy below.

Know The Symptoms

Pets can’t tell us if their teeth are hurting, so it’s important to know what to look for. Although dogs and cats do have some unique symptoms, they do share some common ones, such as drooling, tartar buildup, bad breath, and visible swelling. Your pet may also not feel very playful. You may notice changes in your furry pal’s eating habits as well. For instance, your dog or cat may take longer eating, start preferring soft food, dribble food out of their mouth, or—in severe cases—even stop eating altogether.

Dental Exams

We recommend getting your fuzzy buddy’s choppers checked at least once a year, starting at age one. If you notice any of the symptoms we’ve listed above, you’ll want to make an appointment right away. Treatment options are not focused on cosmetics: Fluffy and Fido don’t need perfect smiles to be adorable. Instead, the goal is to address issues that can cause pain and/or infections, as well as those that can contribute to other health problems.

Home Care

Brushing is the best thing you can do for both Fido and Fluffy. Needless to say, your pet may not be very enthusiastic about the idea at first, so you’ll need to start slow. At first, just gently rub your pet’s teeth and gums. Do this during cuddle time, and offer treats, praise, and ear scritches, so your four-legged pal forms a good association with dental care. You can use a finger toothbrush, or wrap your finger in gauze. Dip the gauze in tuna water for cats, or a flavored pet toothpaste for dogs. You don’t have to brush your dog or cat’s entire mouth daily: just do one section at a time, and keep rotating. If you aren’t having any luck, you can still help keep your pet’s mouth healthy with oral rinses, dental-formula treats and chews, or dental sticks. Making sure your pet always has lots of fresh water is also important.

Please contact us, your Bolingbrook, IL vet clinic, with questions or concerns on caring for your pet’s teeth. We’re here to help!

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