Pet dental care explained

Why pet owners should brush their pet’s teeth and gums.
White dog having its teeth brushed in a bath
Many pet owners forget an important aspect of dogs’ and cats’ health — dental care.

Some pet experts claim you should brush your pet’s teeth daily. This may seem unnecessary, however it's important to develop a regular regime of maintaining your pet’s mouth health to avoid dental problems.

Make sure your pet is as relaxed as possible when you brush their teeth. You may even consider an annual vet appointment where your pet has a full check-up and treatment.

Here are some tips from Australia Pet Doors for brushing your pet’s teeth.

  • For dogs, use a toothbrush with soft bristles at a specific angle (cats generally have smaller mouths and need an even smaller brush).
  • Don’t use human toothpaste, as it can upset a pet’s stomach. Hold the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the tooth surface.
  • Brush in an oval motion and scrub the gum line.
  • For inside surfaces of dog teeth, hold their muzzle from the top, squeeze, and push back the lips on one side, keeping the mouth open, and gently pull their head back. You’ll then be able to brush the teeth on the opposite side.

Regular brushing can lessen the need for pet dental services. Only your vet knows how to remove plaque from an animal's teeth, but you can do your part. Introducing your pet to dental care should be done gradually.

Apply a tasty treat to your finger and gently rub your pet's teeth and gums. Once they’re comfortable, start using gauze and rub in a circular motion. When they can handle this, start using a toothbrush.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.