Pet dental hygiene is often overlooked by pet owners, but it is essential to their overall well-being. Keeping up on your pet’s dental care can help prevent issues like gingivitis or even more serious conditions like tooth loss and organ dysfunction. To help protect your pet’s oral health, start with these 5 tips to care for your pet’s teeth:

  • Brush your pet’s teeth. You should brush your cat or dog’s teeth on a daily basis, or even twice a day if possible. If your pet does not cooperate well with teeth-brushing, try to at least brush once a week. Note that you should only use toothpaste that is specially formulated for your type of pet.
  • Take your pet to a vet for professional dental cleanings once per year. In addition to brushing at home, it is also important to schedule an annual dental exam for your pet where they can get a deeper cleaning and examine their mouth for any health concerns.
  • Feed your pet mostly dry food. Dry food is typically better for your pet’s overall dental health because it can help remove plaque from teeth and it does not stick to the surface like soft food can. Keep in mind that you should switch foods gradually.
  • Look into foods that can help with oral health. If your pet suffers from dental problems like plaque buildup or bad breath, there are some specially formulated foods and treats that can help keep these issues under control.
  • Purchase toys that help clean teeth. From cleaning chews to texturized toys that are abrasive enough to remove plaque from teeth, a dental toy or two is a good addition to your pet’s collection.

Be sure to consult your veterinarian before changing your routine or introducing any new pet dental products to ensure they are safe.