Why your pet needs a toothbrush

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By: Your Morinville Pet Valu Animal Care Team

Did you know you should be cleaning your dog or cats’ teeth regularly? Dental health is a serious matter for pets. Dogs are five times more likely to get gum disease than humans and studies report that between 50 and 90% of cats older than four years suffer from some form of dental disease.

Good news is these diseases are largely preventable. Here are some tips to help you establish a good oral care routine with your pet:

Start slowly – To get your pet comfortable with brushing, put a small amount of pet toothpaste on your finger or a finger brush and gently massage it into their teeth and gums. Slowly increase the number of teeth you brush over time.

Always use pet toothpaste – As pets can’t rinse or spit, it is important to use a pet toothpaste that is designed to be swallowed. Available in beef, chicken or peanut butter flavours, pet toothpaste doesn’t contain chemicals and reduces plaque and bacteria that’s unique to pets’ mouths.

Don’t force it – If your pet resists having their teeth brushed, try a water additive instead. Simply add the amount suggested on the bottle to your pet’s water and the additive will help remove plaque and tartar.

Make it fun – Dental toys such as ropes and hard rubber balls provide a range of benefits including cleaning and massaging gums, flossing and removing tartar. Dental chews massage your dog’s gums and scrape away plaque and tartar and freshens breath.

Reward with treats – Dental treats are designed to remove plaque buildup and contain ingredients that freshen breath and clean your pet’s mouth. Look for all-natural treats, and for dogs, avoid rawhide treats and bones as they can damage teeth and lead to choking.

Pet Valu Morinville (8807 – 100th Street) is a Canadian specialty retailer of pet food and pet-related supplies. Drop by the store and speak to one of the Animal Care Experts about dental care, nutrition, grooming, fleas, ticks and more.

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