Dental Hygiene

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Dogs, cats and ferrets will all benefit from regular teeth brushing. The younger age you start teeth brushing the better, as our pets are much more likely to accept new things at a young age. Dental treats and certain dry foods may help, but nothing beats brushing regularly (at least twice a week).

Reasons for brushing our pet's teeth…

85% of dogs, cats and ferrets 3 years and older have dental disease.

Daily brushing helps reduce tartar build up and keep gums healthy .

Puppies do teethe like babies, so tend to chew things between the ages of 4-12 weeks when the pre-molars are erupting.

Your pet's breath will smell better (especially as they get older).

Your pet is less likely to need dental treatment in later life, and will have longer periods between any necessary dental treatments.

Routine dental treatments are NOT usually covered by pet insurance, so if your pet needs a scale and polish your insurance company will not usually pay out.

How to brush your pet's teeth

Buy a tooth brush and paste, suitable for dogs or cats, at your local veterinary surgery. Smaller dogs, cats and ferrets may prefer a "finger brush" also available from the vets.

Day 1 - Gently pet and scratch the muzzle, slowly lifting the lip for about 30 seconds, reward with a treat.

Day 2 - Repeat as above and gently run your fingers and a small amount of paste over the teeth for about 30 seconds. Reward with a treat.

Day 3 - Repeat day 2 for a longer period of time, up to 45 seconds.

Day 4 - If it is going well, repeat day 3, then gently insert the toothbrush and run over the teeth for about 30 seconds. Reward with a treat. "

Day 5 and 6 - Repeat day 4 with the toothbrush rewarding when the puppy is behaving well.

Day 7 - Now gradually increase the brushing time until you are able to spend at least one minute on either side of the mouth upper and lower.

Hints …..

Be patient, if you rush the process your pet will become resistant.

Lots of praise, encouragement and treating afterwards to make the experience for your pet fun!

If your pet becomes aggressive, stop immediately and contact your veterinary surgery for advice.

Never use human toothpaste, it can cause vomiting and be irritant to your pet's digestive system.

There are free nurse clinics at Willett House veterinary surgery for advice and demonstrations on oral hygiene for your pet.