Bad breath can be as bad for pets as it is for humans. The accumulation of bacteria in the narrow spaces between teeth and gums can lead to the appearance of diseases, and, if pets are left without any proper care for their teeth, they can be affected by more than just bad breath.
Cats and dogs do not floss, what can owners do?
For humans, it is easy to care for their teeth, with the plethora of dental care oriented products existing on the market. However, your pet cat or dog cannot do the same thing. Guess what? It is you that must be in charge of cleaning their teeth.
While it may sound strange cats and dogs can make great use of a thorough brushing, just like humans do. Admittedly, cats are more difficult to convince to have something stuck into their mouths, but dogs can easily be trained to stay still while having their teeth brushed.
The basics: start with the good old toothbrush
The most important part of caring for your pet’s teeth is to know how to brush their teeth. As it happens with humans, the reason why cavities, tartar and plaque appear is generated by the activity of bacteria inside the mouth. As food remains got stuck between teeth, the bacteria that live inside the mouth, start growing, and, in time, this can generate complications.
Start with a soft bristle brush, so that your pet gets used to the sensation. Make sure to brush away all the food remains from between teeth, to eliminate the cause for bacteria growth.
Add toothpaste, if you like
This may be a more difficult step, but now there are special toothpastes create especially for pets, that you can use when applying the standard brushing. These toothpastes do not create foam, like similar products designed for humans, and they can be safely swallowed. This is a very important aspect, since it will be rather difficult to convince your dog or your cat to gargle.
These products can also help decrease tartar and plaque build-up, although extensive studies on the benefits of using pet toothpaste have yet to be conducted.
Other solutions to pet bad breath
If your pet is not very fond of standard procedures for dental cleaning, such as brushing and using toothpaste, you can appeal to more subtle solutions. Chew toys help pets remove some of the tartar and food remains from the teeth, as well as ropes and hard treats that you can buy from any local pet food store.
Diet can play an important part in taking good care of a pet’s teeth. While dogs may love sweet treats, it is not at all recommended to get them used to them, because they can affect their teeth, and even cause them to develop other conditions, such as diabetes.
Some dogs need more dental TLC than others, as doctors recommend. Small dogs are particularly affected by teeth problems, as their denture is too large and too developed for their small mouths.