Have you ever noticed how a healthy, happy pet has a great smile? Sparkling teeth and sweet-smelling breath are strong indicators of both a vigorously fit animal and a conscientious pet owner.
You would never dream of ignoring your family’s teeth–you care for them through daily brushing, wholesome foods, and regular dental exams and cleanings. Our animal companions need and deserve the same care to keep them from early disease and debility.
In the past, the mistaken belief that animals clean their teeth by chewing alone has led to a general lack of concern for the oral hygiene and dental care of pets. Today, we know that dental care for our animal companions is a four-step process:
- High-quality pet food
- Treats that are free of sugars, help keep teeth clean, and stimulate gums
- Regular veterinary dental exams and cleanings
- Home dental care regime
Food–Pet food that is high in quality and low in sugar and starch is your best choice for good oral and dental health. Your veterinarian will be pleased to recommend appropriate food choices for your pet and, as always, avoid giving your pet table food.
Treats–Splurge on pet treats that are made to help keep teeth clean and stimulate gums.
Dental exams/cleanings–Most pets do not show pain symptoms from dental disease and may even continue to eat and play just fine despite a serious dental problem. Your veterinarian is able to identify developing problems early and prevent painful dental emergencies with regular exams and cleanings.
Home care–Many owners are uncomfortable about brushing their pets’ teeth. Once it is mastered, however, it can become a simple and enjoyable experience for both owner and pet. The AVMA Healthy Pet website offers a clear instructional video for pet owners on Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth.
The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine offers cat owners this wonderful video, Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth.
You will find our extensive pet dental care program to be the finest in the region. In addition, Morton Small Animal Clinic is the only veterinary facility in Henderson County offering state-of-the-art digital dental X-ray technology.