Dogs and cats need dental care. We recommend regular, professional care from your veterinarian, as well as home care. The American Veterinary Dental Society recommends three basic steps:
Take your companion to the veterinarian for a dental exam at least once annually. Don’t wait for his/her annual checkup if you suspect a problem.
Begin a dental care program at home by brushing your companion’s teeth if at all possible. Brushing daily is wonderful, but even once or twice a week will dramatically reduce tartar buildup.
Feed specially formulated foods proven effective in combating plaque and tartar buildup. There are a number of treats and toys that can aid in removing plaque and tartar. Enzandent chews are rawhide stripes permeated with enzymes that help remove plaque. These products are available at Deer Creek in our retail area.
Rope toys are excellent for dental health. They act like dental floss cleaning between teeth. (Don’t use rope toys if your dog shreds them. Ingested rope strands can cause GI obstruction.) Nylabone flexibles and hard rubber chew toys are great for cleaning teeth! Natural bones, chew hooves, and other very hard chew toys are not recommended as they can cause broken teeth. Replace all toys whenever they become small enough that they might be swallowed whole.
The Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, an organization initiated by the American Veterinary Dental Society to guide consumers, appears on products that meet defined standards for plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats. For further information on the VOHC or their product standards, visit www.vohc.org
Schedule regular veterinary checkups. These are essential in helping us monitor the progress of your pet’s dental health routine. At least an annual visit is very important.