314-951-1534

Dental Health at Home

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

It is estimated that less than 1% of pet owners brush their pet’s teeth, and most pets have dental disease by the time they are three or four years old.

You may wonder why so many pets have dental problems in the first place. Bacteria is present in all pets’ mouths, and when it is mixed with food and saliva, the combination creates plaque. If plaque isn’t removed, it becomes thicker and starts to damage the periodontal tissue. Left untreated, the bacteria in your pet’s mouth can enter the bloodstream. This can lead to issues such as kidney, liver, or heart disease.

AMCMA carries dental products at both of our locations that can be purchased without a prescription. You can come in anytime to purchase them, or you can give us a call to arrange curbside pickup or home delivery.

Here are a few of our top picks:

Toothbrush and Pet Toothpaste
There are a couple of options when it comes to the type of brush you use for your pet. We carry toothbrushes that look very similar to human toothbrushes, but they are a little smaller than normal toothbrushes and have soft bristles. Some pet parents, especially those with a small dog or cat, may prefer to use a finger brush. Whichever toothbrush you choose, be sure to use toothpaste made for pets. The fluoride and, in many brands, the artificial sweetener in human toothpaste can be toxic for pets. Plus, pet toothpaste is flavored to make it enticing and enjoyable for pets. For tips on getting your pet comfortable with having their teeth brushed, check out these Fear Free brushing tips

Chew Treats
Not all chew treats are created equal, and some could actually cause problems like a cracked tooth, or they can become lodged in your dog's throat. If your dog enjoys chew treats, consider purchasing Clenz-a-Dent® Breakable Rawhide Chews. They are made from beef hide that is cut and cooked before it is spray coated with a poultry flavoring. The chewing action helps keep your dog’s teeth clean and breath fresh. The unique coating means your dog does not have to consume the entire chew to receive the maximum benefit. The chews are sized for the breed, so dogs can tolerate them if swallowed whole, though you should supervise your dog when he or she has any kind of chew.

Water Additive
Clenz-a-Dent® Water Additive is a great option for dogs and cats. You can either add it to your pets’ fresh water bowl each day, or it can be used as a rinse by using the spray nozzle to apply the liquid directly onto the teeth and gums. It’s made from rhubarb root extract that helps inhibit the growth of bacteria. One of the great things about this water additive is that it reduces bad breath within the first use, and it has shown to reduce bad breath even more when it is used for five days.

Food Additive
PlaqueOff® Oral Health Flakes is preservative-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and rich in natural iodine. All you need to do is sprinkle it on your dog or cat’s food once a day. It contains a seaweed extract that helps maintain clean teeth and fresh breath, reduces bacteria on the tooth enamel, and disrupts the ability of the biofilm to adhere to the teeth. One thing to note – these flakes are not for cats or dogs with hyperthyroidism.

Dental Wipes
Finding the perfect size toothbrush for a smaller pet's mouth can be difficult. DentAcetic® Dental Wipes provide the same mechanical removal of plague and debris from the tooth. One size wipe really fits all pets.

If you have any questions about these products or if you’d like to schedule a dental consultation with one of our doctors just let us know!

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.