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Your dog is a member of your family and you go to great lengths to keep them safe and happy. One area of care that might be missed on a regular basis is the maintenance of their teeth and gums. Regular dental care either by you or a professional keeps them free of pain, it benefits their health overall, and saves you money in the long run. Here are a few reasons why it is important to brush your animal’s teeth.

Prevent Tooth Decay

Much like humans, pets can develop periodontal disease which will erode their teeth and damage their gums. They can contract gingivitis, plaque, and tartar just like their humans do. This can make it difficult for them to eat as well as deteriorate their overall health. Using a natural toothpaste formulated specifically for their breed will prevent these bacteria from forming on the enamel when applied correctly. Talk with your veterinarian to find out what brands of paste they recommend as well as any other tools you should have when you begin. They can also demonstrate what you should do when you brush and how to keep your cat or dog under control as you do it. Set aside time in your schedule to perform this task to keep your animal happy and healthy.

Helps Your Dog Keep Their Teeth

When gum disease attacks your pet’s teeth, it can create problems where they are rooted in the animal’s jaw. It can cause the bone to fracture and the tooth to fall out. This makes it difficult for your cat or dog to eat. They have issues breaking down their food and can get frustrated easily. The longer there are problems, the more likely they will stop ingesting their meals and become malnourished. Regular dental care keeps their mouth in great condition to consume their kibble and treats that you give them. Be sure to get them into your veterinarian for regular checkups to stay ahead of any decay. They can let you know of any problems that they have found and how to reverse them before any damage occurs.

Gives Them Better Breath

Finding a solution for your dog’s bad breath is good for both you and them. This attribute is a clear sign that bacteria is growing in their mouth and needs to be taken care of. Food and other substances get stuck in their gums and start to develop into plaque which creates the scent. If the smell is getting difficult to handle, make an appointment with your veterinarian for them to evaluate the animal’s teeth. They can administer a professional cleaning then get you started on continuing this treatment at home. This will prevent any other damage from beginning and keep your cat or dog in good shape. It will also make it easier for you to be close to them when they want to show you affection which will make them even happier when they get love back from you.

Keeps Them Free of Pain

It is difficult to see your dog hurting, especially when you are unsure of what is wrong. When gum disease attacks their mouth, it can cause them a large amount of discomfort. Their moods will change drastically and they can become aggressive. They might put off eating or drinking since they feel a great deal of pain when something touches the affected area. When they stop consuming anything for a long period of time, it can mean a long stay at the veterinarian due to lack of nutrition. Catching an issue with their teeth before it becomes sensitive for them will keep their demeanor happy and save you money in medical costs.

Cares For Their Internal Organs

It has been discovered that, like humans, dental care is vital to the entire body of the pet. The bacteria that forms in the mouth of your cat or dog can travel throughout their system and affect their internal organs such as their heart, lungs, and liver. This can cause permanent damage to these parts of the animal’s structure, which will make them sick or possibly lead to their death. Brushing their teeth regularly as well as taking them in for a professional cleaning will protect them from head to tail and lead to a long, healthy life with you.

Less Money Spent on Visits to the Vet

Having a pet can be an expensive venture. You must purchase food, bedding, kennels to sleep in and for travel, trips to the doctor, toys, and treats for your animal. These costs can accumulate fast throughout the life of your cat or dog. If they have poor dental health, these costs can continue to climb. When their organs are affected by the bacteria that has formed on their teeth traveling there, it can make them sick enough for a stay at the vet. Cats or dogs with gum disease can be in pain and refuse to eat or drink. They will need to see someone in the medical field to feel better and have that discomfort taken care of. Having these professionals treat any issues on the onset as well as setting a regular routine at home can help you save money and keep your family happy.

Have a Happy Pet

While the discomfort in their jaw might alter their behavior a little, it is often subtle enough that you may have a problem noticing it. Many times your dog will endure the pain until it is too late and they are very sick. They will stay happy and frisky if you keep up on the maintenance of their mouth. Analyze your schedule and pencil in this task for yourself. Ask a professional to show what you should get looking for against your cat or dog’s jaw and what can be done to clean it. They can also give them an exam so that they can look for cracked and lost teeth that are on the verge of falling out.

Getting Started on Good Dental Care

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for your pet’s initial dental exam. Much like your appointment with the dentist, the doctor will take x-rays, and do a thorough cleaning of the animal’s teeth. Often they will be put under anesthesia to do this so they can rest instead of reacting. At this time, the medical professional will look for anything that might be broken as well as bacteria that has formed in the enamel. These can be treated while your dog is sleeping. You will be given instructions on how to continue care at home as well as suggestions on food, toys, toothbrushes and toothpaste that you can use. When your cat or dog goes back for a visit, their mouth can be examined for any plaque or gingivitis that has accumulated since the last time you were in.

How to Brush at Home

Once your dog has their cleaning with the veterinarian, you should continue those habits at home. You should do this routine after a nap when they are well rested and in good spirits. Squirt a little of the paste onto something that they can lick then let them give it a taste. Once they get used to it, get out the brush and familiarize them with the tool. Purchase one that is constructed for them from the pet store instead of using one from your bathroom that is meant for you.  Let them see it, then touch their mouth with it. As they let you do this, you can continue onto touching their teeth and gums. Lift their lips to this instead of grabbing their jaw, which will frighten them. 

Finally, put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and complete the process by going from their gums to the tip. When you are finished, take time to play with them and let them know that this is a positive task. If they know that they will have fun after it, they will be more receptive. Be patient with your cat or dog as you do this. It can take quite a bit of time for them to warm up to the idea and to trust you to do this to them.

How to Maintain Great Teeth Along With Brushing

There are other things that you can do to promote great dental health with your animal. Research the brands of food on the market that are formulated to promote healthy teeth and gums. Your veterinarian can assist you with some suggestions as well. Purchase treats and toys that encourage them to chew and offer these to your dog several times a day. The motion that occurs when they play with these keeps bacteria from adhering to their teeth. You want to care for your animal like you do the rest of your family. This attention should include their teeth and gums. When you use toothpaste and a toothbrush on your cat and dog, you are helping their mouth stay pain-free, are keeping their whole body healthy, and are sustaining their happy and playful demeanor.

photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/tAsmMa9pk9c

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