When you own a cat or dog, it’s your job to make sure they’re in good health, and that includes dental health. A surprising number of pet owners don’t consider dental health an important part of pet guardianship unless the animal shows signs of obvious distress. Discover five common misconceptions about pet dental health.
1. Dental Problems in Pets Are Obvious
Many pet owners assume that cats and dogs will let their owners know when they have dental problems. They expect that dental problems will always cause pain or discomfort and that an animal behaving normally must not have any issues.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many cats and dogs already have signs of gingivitis once they reach a year old and likely won’t show signs of pain or lack of appetite.
2. Teeth Cleaning Treats Replace Tooth Brushing
Several popular pet food and treat brands advertise their products as quick solutions for pet dental hygiene. However, giving your pet a couple of crunchy treats every day is not the same thing as a full tooth brushing. These snacks can be the equivalent of a person eating a few carrot sticks instead of brushing their teeth. Gross!
3. Bad Breath in Pets Is Normal
Many pet owners romanticize “doggy breath” and assume that cats and dogs naturally have stinky breath because of their food. While it’s true that food can contribute to bad breath, consistent halitosis is usually a sign of poor oral hygiene. The cause of the bad breath typically stems from a buildup of bacteria.
4. Adult Pets Won’t Tolerate Tooth Brushing
One popular misconception about pet dental health is that you have to train an animal to tolerate tooth brushing while they’re young. Once you’re dealing with an adult animal, many assume there’s no way to train them to tolerate the toothbrush.
Thankfully, there’s no truth to this myth. Adult animals can learn to accept tooth brushing if you take the time to properly introduce the activity. Make sure to use flavored toothpaste made specifically for cats and dogs.
5. Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth Is Dangerous
It’s perfectly normal to think that brushing a cat or dog’s teeth is dangerous since we usually avoid putting our hands inside our pets’ mouths. However, many kinds of pet toothbrushes don’t put your hand anywhere near your pet’s sharp teeth, so there’s no need to worry. Finger toothbrushes (the type that you wear on your finger) are best for young animals, while pet toothbrushes for older animals give you some reach.
If your cat or dog needs to visit a veterinary hospital in Palmdale, CA, visit us at Animal Medical Center of the Antelope Valley. We utilize the most up-to-date techniques and equipment to ensure your visit is as quick and painless as possible.