Keeping your pet's teeth clean is important. Most people are not aware that brushing your pet's teeth every day is essential. Keeping the teeth clean by brushing is good not only for the teeth and gums, but also for a pet's overall health as the bacteria from gum disease can damage heart, valves or kidneys over time. Owners not only avoid health problems by brushing their pet's teeth regularly, but delay having to have their pet's teeth cleaned at the vet, which can be a costly procedure. In fact, at my vet's office, one teeth cleaning costs $75!
It is important to brush your pet's teeth as often as possible, preferably every day. However, this is not always possible, so in the event that you are not able to brush your pet's teeth, it is important to give your pets treats or toys that will help prevent tartar buildup or plaque.
Human toothpaste should never be used on your pet, as it is not meant to be swallowed like pet toothpaste. Pet toothpaste comes in yummy flavors like malt, chicken, or beef that most animals will love. Owners can start brushing a pet's teeth at any time, but the younger the pet is, the easier it may be to get him used to daily brushings.
The best way to start brushing a pet's teeth is to start out slowly, just let the animal lick the flavored pet toothpaste off the brush for the first 2 days, then brush for a few seconds for the next 2 days or so, and then go longer. Brush only the outside surfaces, as the pet's tongue keeps the inner surfaces fairly clean. If the owner doesn't push it on their pet, the animal will actually like having its teeth brushed!
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