Hefner Road Animal Hospital Blog

Is dog breath normal?

How to care for your pet’s teeth, a lifetime of good health

Our pet’s health and longevity is directly linked to their dental care. As humans, we brush our teeth multiple times daily to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Did you know that that standard of care is also appropriate for your pet’s teeth?

Daily brushing is the gold standard for dental care and yes, they make toothpaste for pets! Flavors like poultry and beef might sound not so appetizing to us but spike and fluffy will love it! You can swing by and pick up some sample toothpaste from our front desk, we even have tooth brushes!

When daily brushing just isn’t an option, fear not, there’s still ways to help maintain your pet’s overall health through teeth and gum care!

  • Oral rinses: Purvis recommends MaxiGuard and Dentahex. Both are easy to apply to your pet’s teeth. Simply lift the lip and squirt a small amount on the gum line.
  • Water additives: Products like Oratene are great for a busy pet parent and or for pets that aren’t used to having their mouths handled. Adding this product to fresh water daily will help keep your pet’s teeth clean and breath fresh.
  • Dental chews/treats: There are many over the counter products available for dental health, however, many contain WAY too many calories are more of a treat than a useful dental product. Oravet and VeggieDent chews are veterinary strength “treats” that are to be given once daily to help break down the plaque on your pet’s teeth and keep those gums healthy. We recommend the VeggieDent chews for the super chewers that like a longer lasting to chew to occupy their time. We do not recommend rawhide products as they are not digestible and can be harmful to your pet.
  • Dental food: Hill’s prescription diet offers a dental food known as t/d. The kibble of the food is substantially larger than most to ensure your pet is biting down and chewing the kibble and contains a “cross grain” that “brushes” the teeth as they bite down. This formula is available for both cats and dogs and also comes in a small bites version for those extra small fur kiddos.

What about dental cleanings?

Dr. Purvis recommends regular dental cleanings for your pet. Once we start to see plaque on the teeth it’s time to get them scaled, polished and shined up. Most of us pet owners regularly see our dentist for cleanings and the same should go for your pet. Our dental procedures not only clean the teeth but also under the gums and in any pockets that may have formed. Teeth and gum cleanings are meant to be a preventative measure performed throughout your pet’s life. Before we sedate any pet for teeth/gum cleaning we perform presurgical blood work to make sure they are tip top shape which removes a lot of the dangers of anesthetic procedures. Waiting until your pet’s breath smells rotten and teeth have to be extracted is not veterinary recommended and is completely preventable.

As a rule we have your pet’s health and happiness in mind. Proper dental care will keep your pet healthy longer.  Let’s have a conversation about your pet’s teeth because dog breath isn’t normal and we have the tools to keep it at bay.

posted in:  Pet Health