Oral Care –
Oral care is a great place to start! Your pet may not be able to tell you when something is wrong so it’s important that you have all the facts you need!
Sadly 4 out of 5 of them over the age of 3 have gum disease. This is caused by plaque and tartar build-up around the gum line, which can be reduced by an effective oral care routine. The myth of dogs’ mouths being completely ‘self-cleaning’ is not true. If dogs’ teeth aren’t cared for it can lead to rotten teeth, bad breath and build-up of infection which can result in disease in the body. Friend of Pedigree and TV Vet, ‘Pete the Vet’ shared his top dental tips from his 25 years of veterinary experience.
Pete’s first tip is to
- Take your pet to the vet for a dental exam. It’s important not to wait for his annual check-up if you suspect (or smell!) a problem!
- Begin a dental care regime at home, based on the guidance from your veterinary practice. No matter how old your pet is, you should brush their teeth with toothpaste created specifically for dogs.
- Schedule regular veterinary check-ups, it’s always better to catch little problems before they turn into big ones.
- Strive for a balanced diet for your dog. Their diet should contain calcium and phosphorus for strong and healthy teeth. Pete advises not to give your dog bones (raw or cooked) as they can cause damage in the mouth, constipation, or even worse, puncture wounds or blockages in the gut.
Another way to care for your dog’s teeth is encouraging them to chew. Chewing helps to keep their teeth clean from abundances of plaque and tartar. Dentastix is an ideal way to care for their teeth with a treat! They have a unique ‘X’ shape and special abrasive texture. With daily feeding, they’re clinically proven to help reduce tartar build-up by up to 80%.
On the subject of treats, it’s important to be aware of the number of treats that you give to your pet between meals. Prepared cat and dog care treats are a great way to reward good behaviour and interact with dogs and cats. As a general rule, treats should make up a maximum of 10% of the pet’s daily recommended calorie allowance and owners should reduce the quantity of their main meal accordingly.
Cats don’t just use their teeth to eat. They are also essential tools, for carrying things, playing, and living life to the full. Teeth are as important to cats as our hands are to us!
There is some variation but most adult cats have 30 teeth, with the molars coming through last.
Most kittens will have a full set of adult teeth by 6-8 months. Like people, cats can have tooth problems ranging from retained deciduous teeth and malocclusion to periodontal disease. Caries (dental decay) is extremely rare in cats. Since a healthy mouth depends on healthy teeth pet owners should periodically have their pet’s teeth checked by a vet and establish an appropriate daily oral care routine from an early age.