Dog breath is cute … in puppies. Cat tuna breath is cute … in kittens. But as pets grow older, having bad breath can be a sign of possible dental issues.

It’s true that pets can develop some of the same problems as humans including periodontal disease, broken teeth and roots or abscesses and infected teeth. A good periodontium protection regimen begins at home. If you’re knocked out on a daily basis by the odor emanating from your pet’s mouth, implement these steps to get your pet’s mouth back to healthy and his breath back to fresh and clean.

Step 1: As a responsible pet parent you should be looking in your pet’s mouth often. When you do, pay attention and look for any of the following:

– Bad breath
– Broken or loose teeth
– Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
– Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
– Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
– Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
– Pain in or around the mouth
– Bleeding from the mouth
– Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth.

These are all signs of further issues going on with your pet.

Step 2: Brush your pet’s teeth. It may sound as hard as herding cats, but it is possible to do. The best way to brush your furry friend’s teeth is to use a toothbrush or wrap your finger in gauze. Holding it at a 45-degree angle to the teeth, use small circular motions, working in one area of the mouth at a time. Make sure to lift up your pet’s lip to reach the teeth if needed. Tartar usually builds up on the tooth surfaces that touch the cheek so you should pay extra attention there. Finish up with a downward stroke on the teeth to remove tartar. As with humans, daily brushing is best, but if that’s more than you can handle, a few times a week is better than nothing.

Step 3: Provide chew toys and treats that massage your pet’s teeth and help keep them clean. We are happy to provide recommendations of toxin-free chew toys and treats that will help keep their pearly whites, pearly white. Just remember that neither of these types of items are meant to replace regular brushing.

Step 4: Schedule an appointment for a professional dental exam. We can examine your pet for developmental anomalies, accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease and oral tumors. Should your pet need additional work done, you’ve come to the right place for that, and we can schedule an appointment to get your pet’s teeth bright and clean again. Call or stop by today.