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Dental Care for Your Pets

pet dental care

Chew Toys 

Chew toys can do more for your pet than satisfy playful tendencies or keep them from chewing your furniture. Some chew toys can actually help build and protect strong teeth. Gnawing on chew toys can eliminate some softer tartar and stimulate your pet’s gums. However, choosing the right chew toy is important.

Make sure you look for nylon and rubber chew toys or toxin-free rawhide if your pet prefers it. If your pet doesn’t particularly like chew toys, make them more inviting by filling them with treats. Many companies even make edible pet chews specifically designed to improve their oral health. They are good for, not only your pet’s mouth, but also for their overall health. Chew toys are a great way to bolster your pet’s at-home dental care routine.  

Per their dentist’s recommendation, most people brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Practicing regular at-home care and routinely visiting an oral health professional can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Having good oral hygiene practices is also essential for helping maintain one’s overall health.

Did you know that having good oral hygiene is an important part of your pet’s overall health too? In fact, pets are just as susceptible to the negative repercussions associated with poor oral hygiene as humans are. Unfortunately, few people brush or clean their pet’s teeth as frequently as is recommended — if at all. Here’s a reminder about why it is just as critical for you to practice good oral hygiene habits on your pet as it is to practice them on yourself.  

Periodontal Disease

Whether in humans or in animals, periodontal (gum) disease ranges from early-stage gingivitis, which is characterized by gum inflammation, to advanced-stage periodontitis, which is often characterized by damage to the jawbone and soft tissue around the teeth.

The root cause of periodontal disease is plaque buildup around the teeth that gradually spreads under the gum line. When left untreated, bacteria under the gum line can make the problem worse. As it progresses, periodontal disease damages the supporting tissue around the tooth, which can lead to loose teeth that eventually fall out. Furthermore, certain chemicals released by your animal’s own immune system actually speeds up this process.

Thankfully, practicing regular at-home dental care and visiting your veterinarian for regular checkups  can help prevent the onset of periodontal disease and other dental diseases in your pet. Use the following guide to keep your pet’s pearly whites sparkling bright.

How to Clean Your Pet’s Teeth

  1. If possible, introduce your pets to the concept of having their teeth brushed at a young age. Start slowly, so they acclimate to having a toothbrush or finger brush and toothpaste in their mouth. At first, simply put a toothbrush or finger brush with toothpaste on it into your pet’s mouth for  5 seconds at a time. You can slowly increase this amount of time to 2-minute increments, once they become comfortable having a toothbrush and toothpaste in their mouth.
  2. As your pet becomes more comfortable with this process, start brushing their teeth. Use your finger or a toothbrush to slowly brush one tooth at a time, focusing on the gum line. The junction of the tooth and gum is one of the most important areas to reach. 
  3. Retract your pet’s lips to create a smile and get to work on the back molars. Spend about 1 minute on the upper row of teeth and another minute on the lower row of teeth. If your pet simply won’t tolerate having his teeth brushed for this long, focus primarily on the upper and outer molars.
  4. Lastly, make it fun! Use kibble, treats or toys to reward your pet.

Remember: Always use toothpaste that is specifically recommended for use on animals. 

If you have any additional questions about your pet’s oral hygiene or would like more information about the correct way to brush your furry friend’s teeth, contact us for help. We can provide teeth cleanings for your pet, recommend a veterinary dental specialist or simply provide more information about your pet’s oral health. 

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Tuesday8:00am5:30pm
Wednesday8:00am5:30pm
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Testimonial

Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.

The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.

Sung L.
Rupert, ID

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