Did you know that most dogs and cats suffer from periodontal disease by age 3? It's important to develop a dental routine early on with your pet so they can enjoy a happier, healthier and longer life. Getting started can be a daunting task because most pets aren't used to having their teeth brushed. Read on to learn about which products are best and how to nail a dental routine for your pets.
1) Use certified products
Don't let flashy marketing fool you. Humans have the American Dental Association and pets have the Veterinary Oral Health Council! Look for treats endorsed by the VOHC. Approved products will have the VOHC seal on them.
I prefer to go the easy route and use a unique enzymatic gel from Tropiclean. There is no pinning an angry cat down and physically brushing their teeth and there is far less blood shed when I use the gel on my three cats. All it takes is a drop of gel on their large canine teeth once a day; how easy is that?! Their tongue works as a toothbrush to move the gel around their mouth. Over time this amazing gel softens the tartar buildup and allows it to be removed when they munch on their kitty crunchies. Another highly rated product is PlaqClnz, it is also a gel that is easy to apply and favored by many groomers.
2. Avoid Unnecessary Products
If you don't see results it's easy to quickly lose faith in a product. It's important to use products that provide health benefits to your pet, not superficial coverups for you. Water additives may seem like an easy way out of brushing your dog's teeth but the truth is they really don't do much for their oral health. We may see a difference in their stinky breath for a short period of time but that's about it. Don't waste your hard earned money on miracle products. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Out of sight, out of mind
Whatever your chosen product is keep it in an obvious place instead of tucked inside of a drawer. I can't tell you how many times I've thrown a beauty product in a drawer and completely forgotten all about it. Consider keeping your pet's dental gel near your own toothpaste, their food, or even their toy box so you will see it and remember to use it.
4) Positive Reinforcement
You can train any animal to do anything if you have patience and find what motivates them. Don't get frustrated and angry when your pet resists toothbrushing at first. You'll find that some pets are totally fine when you handle their mouths and others may resist by shaking their heads like a resistant toddler. Our kitties LOVE food and rewarding them with their favorite treats makes brushing their teeth more bearable. Find what your pet loves and make your new dental routine a positive experience. Stick. With. It.