Taking Proper Care of Your Dog’s or Cat’s Teeth?

All pets are at risk for developing dental problems and, sadly, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three. Although dogs and cats rarely get cavities, the formation of plaque and tartar can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is very painful and animals often suffer with it in silence. Pet parents can help avoid dental disease and the associated problems with basic dental care. This is critical to a pet’s overall good health.

Did you know that by the proper brushing and maintenance of your dog’s teeth you can add as much as 3-5 years to its life? The sad truth is that it is estimated that only 1 out of 10 pet parents makes sure their pets’ teeth are cared for. Untreated periodontal disease can spread bacteria and infection through the bloodstream and damage internal organs. It is vitally important to check your dog’s or cat’s mouth and teeth on a regular basis and be alert to the warning signs.

The Warning Signs to be Aware of…

  • Changes in appetite and/or eating habits
  • Bad breath, often dismissed as “doggy breath”
  • Drooling
  • Tarter and a yellow or brown discoloration at the gum line
  • Swollen, inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Abscessed teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Loose teeth or any sign of sensitivity when a tooth is touched

These symptoms, if present, require a visit to your veterinarian to avoid a possibly serious health problem.

If you are not brushing, it is urgent that you start…

Brushing with toothbrushes designed specifically for pets is the best way to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Possible good choices: the ClearQuest Dual End Toothbrush, with 2 different sizes at each end and angled for better reach in your pet’s mouth; or the Petrodex Dental Kit, which includes a contoured toothbrush with two sizes of bristles, a soft finger toothbrush, toothpaste and instructions. The newest technology is the Triple Head Toothbrush. It uses a unique, patented design that cleans the front, back, and sides of teeth to remove plaque build-up more efficiently with each stroke.

Pet toothbrushes are smaller, softer, and have a different shape to them than those used for people, in order to fit the unique contours of pointed animal teeth, as well as brush the front and back of the tooth all at once.

However, the toothbrush is not the only option. There are also brushes you can slip on your finger such as the ClearQuest Finger Toothbrush to clean both teeth and gums. Then there is the option of Petrodex Finger Toothbrush Gloves, an easy alternative to brushing your pets’ teeth. These unique disposable, medical-grade PVC gloves feature bristles on thumb and forefinger. Lastly, Dental Swabs are filled with liquid that cleans teeth, soothes gums and freshens breath. And, pre-moistened, minty fresh Dental Wipes make it easy to practice good oral hygiene with your pet. Your choice as to what is best depends on the condition of your dog’s gums, the size of its mouth, and your ability to do the job of cleaning the teeth.

Always use toothpaste that is specially formulated for pets such as veterinarians’ favorite CET Enzymatic Toothpaste (available in Malt or Poultry) for dogs and cats. Never use toothpaste formulated for humans. Human toothpaste is much too strong, and can do more harm than good.

How Often Should You Brush or Clean Your Dog’s or Pet’s Teeth?

The more often you are able to brush and clean your dog’s teeth the better. Dog and pet dental care should be a priority for maintaining your pet’s good health. Brushing your dog’s teeth should not be a chore for you or your dog. Ideally you should aim for daily but at least 3-times-a-week dental care, just as you know that daily dental care for yourself and your other family members is important.

Supplement Aids

CET AquaDent Drinking Water Additive for dogs and cats was developed by veterinary dental specialists to help conveniently maintain pet dental health.

Vet Solutions Dentahex Oral Rinse for dogs and cats with Chlorhexidine 0.12% and Zince is an antimicrobial oral rinse for reducing plaque and freshening breath in dogs and cats.


You can help achieve good oral hygiene for your pet with treats. Quality dental chews on the market are specifically designed to help control plaque and tartar buildup by their shape and texture, forcing a dog to chew vigorously, which scrapes away plaque and tartar. Favorites are Beefeaters Dental Rawhide Stix. For aggressive chewers, Beefeaters Swizzles are 100 percent all natural and will give your dog lots of chewing pleasure. Also, CET Oral Hygiene Chews for dogs and cats. As simple as giving a daily treat, you will help remove plaque and prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria in your pet’s mouth. We certainly should not leave out Greenies, the bestselling pet treat in the United States offering dogs and cats a satisfying chewing experience, fresh breath, and dental benefits.


Not only can your pet be entertained with toys but the actual removal of plaque can be accomplished by using toys; the chewing activity scrapes away plaque and tartar. Good products are Nylabone toys, Kong toys and Fresh N Floss Rope. Never give your pet toys that are abrasive and can wear down the teeth. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, choose toys that are not so hard that a tooth can be broken on them.

Nutrition and Diet

For preventing tarter buildup and for maintaining clean teeth, give your dog raw, not cooked, knuckle bones (the joints) from your local butcher or meat counter at the supermarket. They have tendons and muscle meat to provide a nice oral workout as well as a healthy amount of natural calcium. Your dog will enjoy a knuckle bone, will be content and relaxed while chewing and a little sleepy afterwards. Supervise your dog to make sure it doesn’t swallow a large piece, leading to choking or digestive problems. Raw carrots are a good substitute.

Bring your animal to a vet for regular check-ups, especially if you see signs of tooth decay.

(CLICK HERE) Our Trusted Source for Dental (CLICK HERE)

Care of Your Dog’s Teeth
Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth

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3 Responses to “Taking Proper Care of Your Dog’s or Cat’s Teeth?”

  1. 1 Margaret Elmendorf April 15, 2009 at 10:57 am

    This was an excellent article and blog. I would love to put you on my blog roll. It is one of the best blogs I have seen. Hope I can do as well one day.

  1. 1 Cet Oral Hygiene Rinse » Blog Archive » Want to Add Years to Your Dog’s Or Cat’s Life? Think Teeth Trackback on October 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm
  2. 2 Want to Add Years to Your Dog's Or Cat's Life? Think Teeth | Unique Dog Toys Trackback on December 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

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