Did you know that 85% of both cats and dogs have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old? Neglecting your pet’s teeth leads to more than just bad breath; it can be painful for your pet and may even result in tooth loss. It’s important to keep both your dog’s and cat’s teeth clean between professional cleanings. Brushing is the best way to clean your pets’ teeth, but most people don’t brush on a regular basis. It can be tricky, especially if your pet isn’t used to it. Here are some easy alternative ways to maintain healthy pet teeth.
Dental wipes are disposable, flavored wipes that are specifically textured to clean your pet’s teeth and gums. They contain chlorhexidine, which is an effective anti-plaque antiseptic. It helps to remove plaque and prevent tartar build up. However, if your pet doesn’t like to have his mouth touched, this might not be a good option for you.
Dental gel is a similar alternative. The gel is placed directly on the outside of your pet’s teeth and gums and is proven to be effective in preventing plaque and tartar. The gel contains enzymes similar to those in pet toothpaste that work to eliminate plaque and prevent tartar buildup. The best time to apply the gel is between meals (about an hour after breakfast.)
There are several different kinds of water additives that help maintain healthy teeth and gums. They contain enzymes that break down plaque and minerals to fight bacteria. It’s as simple as adding a teaspoon of the solution to your pet’s water bowl. Some animals might notice a change in the smell/taste of their water, so just be sure that your dog/cat is drinking enough. If he does notice a change, try adding the solution gradually.
Dental chews are probably the most popular alternative to brushing. There are thousands of dental treats on the market, so make sure to do some research. Our vets recommend KaNoodles, which are available in most pet stores, and long-lasting Hextra dental chews. For a full list of dental treats for cats and dogs, click here.
Remember, the best way to keep your pet’s teeth clean is to brush them daily. Our vets recommend a professional cleaning every 6-9 months for cats and small breed dogs, and every 12 months for large dogs. These methods will help keep your pet’s teeth in good conditions in between dental visits.