Royal Brush. Bet The House On Your Pet's Dental Care.

August 22, 2019 | 9:21 AM

As pet owners, we often have a lot on our daily checklist to make sure our furry companions are healthy, happy, and well cared for. This includes, but is not limited to, feeding them, bathing them, taking them for walks/cleaning the litter box, and telling them how adorable they are (sometimes on an hourly basis). We’re here to add one more thing to that checklist: brushing teeth.

I know it might sound crazy at first, but hear us out: 

Issues involving the mouth are some of the most common conditions that bring pets in to see their veterinarian. This can range from direct injury to the tooth to disease affecting the gums and surrounding oral tissues. Dental procedures, involving cleaning, scaling, and extractions, are some of the most common procedures done in a general veterinary practice. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease (gum disease) is one of the most common diseases that plague companion animals (cats included!). Owners often present to their veterinarians with concerns about their pet’s bad breath, difficulty eating, and, in severe cases, overt pain and bleeding.

Fortunately, when we start talking about veterinary dentistry, there is a lot that you can do as an owner to prevent any of these scary scenarios from happening. That starts with brushing your pet’s teeth on a semi-frequent (ideally daily) basis.

Here’s our go-to advice on how to make this experience great for you and your pet:

This is most definitely a gradual process, so don't get discouraged if your pet is not a fan from the get-go. Try adding in some high value treats as you brush or use peanut butter instead of toothpaste—because, who doesn’t love peanut butter? It’s also acceptable to just use wet gauze if your pet is fearful of the toothbrush.

As always, consult with your veterinarian before making any drastic changes to your pet’s daily routine, as they may be able to recommend something that will work specifically for your pet. These may include diet changes, treat modifications, or restricting play with hard toys, all of which can make a difference in your pet’s oral health.

Just a few minutes a day can save you the headache of major dental disease down the road. Trust us, your pet (and veterinarian) will thank you for their Hollywood smile and, more importantly, healthy mouth.