Paying close attention to pet dental care is an essential part of being a good animal owner.
Frequently overlooked until pets are exhibiting signs of unhealthy teeth, practising good pet dental care has lots of benefits.
Saving your precious pet unnecessary distress, and saving yourself costly vet bills, here CashLady looks at six ways to get more pet dental care while spending less.
The importance of pet dental care
Dental disease is uncomfortable for our pets, who typically don’t show any signs of it until it’s severe.
Plaque and tartar are typically to blame, with build-up on their teeth making their teeth, gums and mouths sore.
Typical signs include visible tartar on their teeth, bad breath, drooling, reluctance to eat and pawing at their faces or mouths.
If you see any of these signs in your pet, then it’s time to book an appointment at the vet.
If left untreated dental disease will only cause further pain, possibly resulting in abscesses or infection and further complications.
Luckily, this situation can be avoided with some low costs pet dental care options.
Low cost pet dental care
#1 Tooth brushing your dog or cat
Just like with humans, tooth brushing is the best way to prevent dental problems for your pets.
Both dogs and cats can have their teeth brushed and it’s best to start them young, so they get used to it.
You’ll need to use pet-safe toothpaste as human toothpaste can be dangerous for your furry friends.
Gradually introduce your pet to teeth brushing by first touching them around the mouth and gums for a few minutes each day and slowly build up to brushing their teeth.
If they are already showing any signs of dental problems, then proceed gently as you may cause your pet further pain.
Ask your vet for advice if you are unsure about the best way to brush your pet’s teeth.
#2 Dental gel for pet tooth care
Some pets, especially cats or highly-strung animals, might not tolerate tooth brushing so you could try a dental gel instead.
Instead of brushing, you can simply pop the gel on your pet’s teeth. While not as effective as brushing this does slow down developing dental problems.
Like, with brushing, however, it’s best to build up to the this gradually and first get them used to having their teeth and mouths touched.
Once you are both used to it, this should become part of your pet’s daily routine.
#3 Mouthwash for pets
Yes, you can get mouthwash for your pets.
Another alternative to tooth brushing, put this in your pets’ water to help slow down plaque build-up – although again, it’s not as effective as using a toothbrush.
#4 Your pets diet for dental care
What you feed your pet can have a pic impact on their dental care.
Ensure that your pet food is complete and appropriate for their life stage.
Dry biscuits can help improve dental health although wet food has nutritional benefits too so consider a mix of both.
If your pet is prone to dental problems, then ask your vet to recommend a specially formulated pet food for tooth and gum care.
This can help slow down dental problems and stop the build-up of plaque.
#5 Dental treats for your pet
There are lots of treats available that are designed to help pets clean their teeth.
While they are great for an occasional treat, they shouldn’t be used as your sole method of dental care.
Instead, opt for one of the regular methods above as they will help ensure that you keep your pet’s weight within a healthy range.
#6 Regular check-ups at the vet
Regular check-ups at the vet are the best way to ensure that your pet stays healthy and that anything wrong with their health is picked up nice and early.
Ideally, aim to get your vet checked every six to twelve months and if you suspect that all is not well your pet’s dental health then make an appointment right away.