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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Tips To Keep Your Pets Teeth Healthy

Tips to Keep Your Pet's Teeth Healthy

Banfield, The Pet Hospital®

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Bad breath, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), is among the first signs of dental disease in Pets. To help prevent, improve and maintain the health of your pets’ teeth and gums, Dr. Nancy Zimmerman, director of medical support at Banfield, offers the following tips: 

Bad breath, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), is among the first signs of dental disease in Pets. To help prevent, improve and maintain the health of your pets’ teeth and gums, Dr. Nancy Zimmerman, director of medical support at Banfield, offers the following tips: 

• Feed your Pet a high-quality diet that promotes dental health. Select food made by companies known for staying current on the latest nutritional research. Many of the reputable pet food companies have formulated diets that aid in the control of tartar and calculus.  Your Banfield veterinarian can recommend the best Pet food diet for your Pet based on several factors, including age, weight, health concerns and lifestyle.

• Cats and dogs require dental exams and benefit from professional cleanings to maintain their overall health. If dental care is neglected, harmful bacteria can enter your Pet's bloodstream and cause various health problems, such as heart disease and kidney infections. Additionally, dental disease is very painful and can cause great discomfort.

• Dental examinations are recommended every six months, depending on your pet’s needs. Your veterinarian can examine your pet and discuss the recommended interval for professional dental cleanings. If you notice bad breath, a decreased appetite, weight loss, pain when chewing, blood on your dog’s chew toys or bones, nasal discharge, red/swollen gums, or any other signs of dental disease between recommended cleanings, bring your Pet in for an examination immediately.

• Small canine breeds, as well as most felines, are at an increased risk of having dental problems and gum infections. While these problems are often caused by overcrowding of the teeth, retention of “baby teeth” or genetic predisposition to gum disease, they are often aggravated by poor dental care.

• Tartar and dental calculus lead to tooth and gum decay. If tartar (the non-visible film on teeth) and dental calculus (the visible mineral deposits) are not routinely cleaned from Pets' teeth, they can cause gums to become red, inflamed, infected and painful (gingivitis). Prolonged tartar, dental calculus and gingivitis can also cause bad breath (halitosis), periodontal disease, dental infections and eventually, tooth loss.

• Brush your Pet's teeth regularly. By introducing the habit early in life, brushing can become an enjoyable part of your pet's healthcare routine. Your veterinarian can recommend toothbrushes and toothpastes that are created especially for Pets. The appropriate use of chew toys can also be an effective way to control tartar. Ask your Banfield veterinarian to recommend specific chew toys for your Pet.

“To keep your Pet’s teeth and gums as healthy as possible, ensure that you brush his or her teeth at least once per week (ideally, daily), and visit a veterinarian for regular dental cleanings at a frequency tailored to your Pet’s needs,” Dr. Zimmerman says.


Information provided by
Banfield, The Pet Hospital®. To find the closest Banfield in a PetSmart store near you, visit PetSmart.com.

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Comments

12 Apr 2011 2:58 am

PierreBertin said:

Thank you, I now know how to keep my dog's teeth healthy.

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21 Dec 2010 10:39 am

julie45 said:

For dog toothpaste, click here

20 Dec 2010 10:07 pm

lalananita said:

about what kinds of toothpastes can you use?

01 Mar 2010 8:23 am

brettep5 said:

Very good article that touches on important and often overlooked points. A healthy mouth is vital for all dogs. Elena, I'd suggest taking your pup to the vet for cleanings every so often if you can't brush your dogs teeth yourself - your pet depends on you to take care of him/her.

26 Feb 2010 10:09 pm

elanasaenz said:

well i just don't like touching dogs teeth.i mean i'll play with them but i wont touch/brush my dog's teeth.

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