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  • Writer's pictureMindy Schwartz

Do I Really Need To Brush My Pets' Teeth?

Brushing your pet’s teeth is an important part of keeping them healthy. Just like people, if left alone plaque will develop on an animal’s teeth. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and BAD breath. There are chews and other products that can help, but nothing works better than brushing.

Starting when your pet is little is ideal, but with time and patience you can teach any pet. Be sure to get the appropriate animal toothpaste and toothbrush. For a very young pet, a finger toothbrush might be the best choice. Dog and cat toothpastes come in delightful flavors, like poultry, fish and chocolate. If your pet is a puppy or kitten, you should begin by gently handling their face and mouth. It's important that your pets become used to being touched, so that they are calm whenever an examination is necessary. Let your pet taste the toothpaste before you start brushing, and then gently brush their teeth. Working up to daily brushing is ideal, but even two to three times per week will make a difference.

Brushing your pets’ teeth can also significantly cut your vet bills. My dog Rocky is 12, and he has never needed an expensive or painful dentistry, because I’ve been brushing his teeth since he was a puppy.

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