Keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy could literally save their lives.
“It’s important to get their mouth cleaned up and get rid of that tarter and bacteria, which really affects their whole body,” said Dr. Andy Cherry with Cherry Point Animal Hospital in Kingsport, TN. “It affects their kidneys, their heart, their lungs. Everything can be affected by the mouth.”
This is the worst case of tartar/plaque buildup and tooth decay that Dr. Cherry has seen in his 28 years of practice. He had to remove every one of this poor pup’s teeth. If you click on the picture, you will see a video of the procedure. Warning: make sure you’re not about to eat!!
So what does Dr. Cherry recommend you do to take care of your furry friend’s chompers?
#1 Research what you’re feeding your pet
“On a regular basis, make sure they’re getting good quality food,” said Dr. Cherry. “It helps keep their teeth clean and free of tartar and debris.”
Check with your veterinarian to find out which food is best for your bestie.
#2 Regular checkups
“Start with a check at home,” said Dr. Cherry. “Look often to see how their teeth look to you and have your veterinarian check as well.”
If your dog does need to undergo a cleaning, Dr. Cherry offers this advice.
“I think a big issue is don’t be scared of the anesthesia, talk to your vet and have any pre-op testing done that is recommended.”
“If you brush your dog’s teeth twice a week, it’d be a huge win for you,” said Dr. Cherry.
Dr. Cherry says a vibrating toothbrush works great with his dog.
“She actually likes it and comes to me and sits in front of me to have it done,” said Dr. Cherry. “I don’t really move it around. I just put it on the one section and let it vibrate.”
#4 HARD Treats
Dr. Cherry suggests specialized dental treats and hard treats.
“Things that are crunchy help because they break the tartar off the teeth and clean the teeth. There are also some that are designed specifically for that. They help to kind of wash the teeth and break off any tartar that’s starting to develop.”
#5 BEWARE of the antlers
“I would stay away from deer and elk antlers,” warned Dr. Cherry. “They are actually too hard and we have seen many dogs break their large teeth chewing those.”
#6 Take preventive measures
“The vaccines your veterinarian recommends, flea and tick control and keep their teeth clean and you’ll have a healthy pet…along with good food,” added Dr. Cherry.
So don’t forget to tell your furry friend to open wide and check out those chompers! And be sure to talk to your veterinarian about what’s best for your dog or kitty.
What do you do to keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy?
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