LAKE COUNTY VETERINARY CLINICS
Serving Two Harbors & Grand Marais, MN
HOME HEALTH DENTAL CARE:
CARING FOR YOUR PET’S TEETH AT HOME
Contact: (218)-834-4234 (During regular business hours)
After-hour emergency contact: BluePearl Referral and Emergency Pet Hospital 218-302-8000
- Products with Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) label can help keep your pet’s teeth cleaner and the gum tissues healthier. Feeding a “tooth-brushing” food – Hill’s Healthy Advantage Diet or Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D, or using a VOHC-approved dental treat daily can help maintain good oral hygiene.
- *The Veterinary Oral Health Council recognizes products that meet pre-set standards of plaque and tartar control. Products awarded the “VOHC Accepted” Seal include dental diets and treats – they are listed at www.vohc.org or click the links below.
TREATS & CHEWS
- Use the “rule of thumb” to determine if an item is okay for your dog to chew. The rule is that if your thumbnail cannot indent the surface of the item, it should not be given to your dog as it can predispose the teeth to fracture. Please avoid giving nylon bones, ice cubes, cow hooves, antlers, bully sticks, marrow bones, and other very firm toys and chews. Rawhides are good, but can cause gastrointestinal upset and are a possible foreign body hazard.
- Even with good home care, most pets should have their teeth cleaned annually to maintain their mouths in good health and to monitor for hidden painful problems that may not be detectable while they are awake.
TOOTH BRUSHING AT HOME:
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Your pet should have their teeth brushed daily. We would be happy to demonstrate how to begin.
To keep your pet’s teeth and gums as healthy as possible, we recommend that you brush the teeth every day. In order to brush the teeth, take a soft-bristled toothbrush or baby tooth brush, wet it with warm water, and brush the surface of his teeth for a total of 30 seconds. It is a good idea to get your pet accustomed to brushing over a 2-4-week period.
Start with introducing your pet to the taste of the toothpaste on your finger or the toothbrush. You may try using a finger brush starting with his canine teeth to get your dog accustomed to the sensation. Then you may advance to brushing the molars until you feel comfortable trying the soft-bristled toothbrush.
It is only necessary to brush the outside of the teeth (the sides facing toward the lips). It is not necessary to use toothpaste to brush the teeth, instead, you can use it as a reward for allowing the brushing. If you want to use toothpaste ensure it is fluoride free, spread a pea-sized amount on the surface of the teeth with your finger or a square of gauze.
Other helpful home care options in addition to brushing are:
- Feed a “tooth-brushing” food— prescription T/D Hills diet.
- Give (1) rawhide strip or Enzadent chew twice daily.
- OraVet home sealant weekly
- VOHC approved water additive