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Keeping Your Pet’s Dental Health in Check

Did you know that dental problems are some of the most common health concerns that veterinarians see in cats and dogs? It’s essential that you maintain your pet’s good dental health at home! Use these tips from a San Leandro, CA vet to do just that:

Mouth Exams at Home

Every week or so, sit down with your pet in a well-lit area to examine the mouth. Gently peel back your animal friend’s lips, exposing the teeth and gums, and take note of anything abnormal. This might include inflammation, swelling, bleeding, cracked teeth, etc. Brownish build-up is plaque and should be removed promptly. Let your vet know if you find anything that looks out of the ordinary.

Chew Toys

Chew toys are about much more than good plain fun. They’re also great for your pet’s dental care! Not only do chew toys give your pet’s teeth and gums a healthy workout, they help to scrape off loose plaque from the outer surface of the teeth, helping to remove it before it hardens into tartar. Make sure your pet is supplied with a wide variety of fun chew toys.

Proper Diet

Don’t forget that feeding your pet a high-quality, well-balanced diet is an effective and simple way to maintain their oral health (and their overall well-being!). When your pet is getting the right nutrients through food, the teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible. For a recommendation on a great diet choice for your pet, as well as information on serving size, contact your vet’s office.

Brushing

Brushing your pet’s teeth at home is one of the absolute best ways to keep their dental health in check. You’ll need a pet-specific toothbrush and a canine- or feline-formulated toothpaste; ask your vet for a recommendation and head to your local pet supply store to pick these up.

You’ll want to start slow with brushing; first, simply introduce the paste to your pet so that he or she can smell and taste it. When your four-legged friend is ready, dab a bit of the paste onto your finger and massage their gums. Gradually, you can start to try the brush as your pet gets more comfortable.

Professional Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings get at the nooks and crannies that home brushing sessions simply can’t. If your pet is due for a cleaning, don’t delay—make an appointment with your San Leandro, CA veterinarian.

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