February is National Pet Dental Health Month

What better way to celebrate than to learn about ways to keep your pet’s bad breath at bay.

We’ve all been there. Fido comes in for a kiss and BAM! you are knocked on the floor practically unconscious from the rank smell of roadkill that radiates from your dog’s mouth. Bad breath is not just unpleasant, it can be an indicator of some serious issues going on in your pet’s mouth. Periodontal disease is serious and can lead to tooth pain, abscessed teeth, heart disease, kidney disease, and more. Did you know there are ways to keep your pet’s breath fresh and their teeth and gums healthy?  Keep reading to find out more!

1) Brush Your Pet’s Teeth Daily

Number one on our list of 5 ways to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is, brush your pet’s teeth daily. Brushing teeth has gone to the dogs (and the cats)! We all have bacteria in our mouths, your pet is no exception. After your pet eats, bacteria, food particles, and saliva mix together and form a covering over the teeth called plaque. That plaque sits on the teeth and over time builds up to form tartar. Plaque and tartar trap bacteria under the gum line causing gum disease and infection. By brushing your pet’s teeth every day, you are removing the plaque that forms on the teeth after eating, which will help keep their breath fresh and their gums healthy. Our sister company, Ken Caryl Pet Spa, offers teeth brushing with Oxyfresh Dental Gel for just $5. If bringing Fido & Fluffy to the spa every day to get their pearly whites brushed is not your speed, you can purchase a variety of Dental Products from them for at home care. These include pet toothbrushes, water additives, & pet toothpaste. In February all the dental products are 20% off too!

Just a reminder, if you are going to brush your pet’s teeth, be sure to use a pet toothpaste product and NOT a human one. Human toothpaste includes fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs.

2) Add A Supplement To Your Pet’s Water To Freshen Breath & Kill Bacteria

Number two on our list of 5 ways to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is, add a supplement to your pet’s water to freshen breath & kill bacteria. Placing an additive in your pet’s water is safe and convenient. It helps kill bacteria and freshen breath in between brushings. Simply measure out the additive according to the directions and add it to your pet’s water bowl. Check the ingredient label, there should be no artificial colors, flavors, alcohol or zylitol.  Click here to find the water additives that our sister company Ken Caryl Pet Spa recommends.

3) Provide Your Pet With Dental Chew Treats

Number three on our list is to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is, provide your pet with dental chew treat, toys & food. In today’s market, there are so many dental chews that help remove plaque and tartar. They range from all natural chews to ones specially formulated by veterinarians. For those who prefer to take a natural approach, we recommend deer antlers, bully sticks, marrow bones, roasted shin bones & raw, frozen bones.  All of these can be found here on the Ken Caryl Pet Spa website. Please remember that feeding your pet bones from your dinner plate is not recommended. Only give your pet bones made especially for chewing from pet product manufacturers to prevent unwanted trips to the emergency veterinarian! If you are looking for a specially formulated chew bone, Greenies®, Del Monte Tartar Check® Dog Biscuits, Bright Bites, OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews, and Vetradent Dog Chews are examples of edible products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.  To see the list of accepted products from the Veterinary Oral Health Council click here.

4) Give Fido A Dental Chew Toy

Number four is to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is, give Fido a dental chew toy. Does Fido like to chew on things he should not be chewing? Have you noticed Fido’s breath is smells horrible? Why not take care of both with a dental chew toy! The market is filled with choices so pick according to your pet’s needs and their strength of their jaw! Kong and Nylabone are two companies who have a variety of dental chews for even the most aggressive strong chewers!

5) Routine Veterinary Dental Exams And Dental Cleanings

Last but not least is to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is routine veterinary dental exams and dental cleanings.  A dental cleaning done by a veterinarian removes unsightly plaque and tartar that you can see on the surface of the teeth. It also removes bacteria from under your pet’s gums that you cannot see. By removing the bacteria, chances of infection are reduced.  Most pets should have their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian at least once per year, but how often a pet requires a dental will depend on each individual animal. Your veterinarian can advise you on when your pet needs a dental exam and cleaning.

Make a habit of scheduling your pet’s dental cleaning every February during National Pet Dental Health month. Most veterinarians run specials on dental cleanings.

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.