Ninety-one percent of dogs and 85% of cats over 3 years old show signs of oral disease. While tooth and gum issues are common, they’re also highly preventable. Take matters into your own hands to keep our pets from being all bark and no bite.

Consult/ Ask your vet whether your dog or cat needs a professional cleaning. If it’s a severe or complicated situation, request a referral to a veterinary dentist. The procedure should be done under anesthesia and can cost between $200 and $600.

Shop/ Purchase supplies for home cleanings. Buy a small, soft-bristled toothbrush or a finger brush (a cotton swab works for cats), and be sure to select pet-friendly toothpaste flavors, like poultry for dogs and fish for cats.

Clean/ Let your pet lick toothpaste off your finger. s he gets used to the taste, try brushing a tooth or two. Work up to the entire mouth over a few weeks, then aim to brush every day.

Maintain/ Give your pet tartar-fighting Veterinary Oral Health Council-approved treats and food designed for dental health, and clean the toothbrush in the dishwasher once a week to prevent bacteria.

Follow Up/ Make sure your pet gets a dental exam during his annual physical.

* Article was posted in Family Circle- March 2015


Here’s a short video on how to clean your dog’s teeth, starring our very own Joanne Simpson along with Tank.