Give your pet a healthy smile! | Dental Care Tips from Kingsdale Animal Hospital in Kitchener

Daily tooth brushing will certainly help reduce the amount of plaque and therefore tartar on your pets teeth. A finger brush is one of the easiest brushes to use when it comes to brushing your pets teeth. It’s a rubber brush that goes on your finger and allows you to brush your pets teeth with comfort. Make sure only to use a veterinary toothpaste as human toothpastes contain fluoride which is toxic when ingested.

The next best way to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is to feed your pet a dental diet or at least provide the dental kibble as treats throughout the day. These kibbles are designed to reduce the amount of plaque and tartar with every bite. It’s like an edible toothbrush! Not all dental foods are the same, however! Some diets will say they clean teeth but often will not reduce the plaque and tartar the gum-line, which is most important. Examples of good dental diets include Hill’s T/D and Medi-cal Dental Formula.

We get asked very frequently from pet owners what they can let their pet chew on to keep their pets teeth clean. That is a difficult question to answer because any product designed to clean teeth potentially has disadvantages. Some questions to answer however: Is the product so hard that it will break teeth? What if your pet swallows the product -- will it cause gastrointestinal upset or even blockage? Does the product even work at reducing plaque a tartar at the gumline?, Etc.
How can you tell if a product will actually work? Look for the VOHC® label on the packaging. This ensures the product has met the standards set forth by Board Certified Veterinary Dentists. View the
VOHC® product list.

What about water additives? Do they actually work? Yes, water additives can work provided that they have been properly tested. The only VHOC® labelled water additive that has been proven to reduce plaque is from the
Healthy Mouth™ brand. Use of alternative products that have not been independently tested may not perform to your expectations.

My pet has tartar build-up, what is the best course of action? The above mentioned products can help to reduce tartar but work best at reducing the development of the tartar. Therefore it would be best have your teeth professionally cleaned first to remove the tartar and then you can successfully start your dental hygiene program to delay and prevent tartar from developing.

With the help of your veterinary team, your pet can have a healthy smile that is essential for overall health!

Contact Kingsdale for a dental evaluation so that we may provide the best options for you and your pet!