Dental Health Month

Home-Care Options

Periodontal, or gum disease, can lead to tooth pain, tooth loss and affects most dogs by the time they are 3 years or age. Without dental care, the bacteria builds up in your dog's mouth and can spread to affect other organs in your pet's body, including the heart, liver and kidneys. Daily care of your pet's teeth helps prevent periodontal disease and increases their overall health and lifespan. Routine dental cleaning and basic oral hygiene will make these cleanings easier and increase the time between professional cleanings.

The amount of dental maintenance required to keep a pet healthy varies among individuals and also among breeds. Know that your pet's mouth, just like your pet, is unique, and resign yourself to providing the care that mouth needs. Ask your veterinarian for guidance on the specific needs of your pet.

Periodontal disease is preventable.


This is the most effective way to keep your pets oral health and prevent periodontal disease. There is never an age too young to start brushing! With pets, it is the abrasive motion that is the benefit. To see a noticeable difference, it must be performed a minimum for 3X per week, but daily is ideal. Brushing should not be a punishment for your pet, it should be made into an enjoyable experience. Be patient. Teaching your dog to accept the tooth brush may take weeks and you may not be able to do the whole mouth at first.

  • You will need
    - A soft pet toothbrush, or a soft children's tooth brush
    - If you have multiple pets, each should have their own toothbrush as bacteria could be transferred from one mouth to the other if shared
    - Animal friendly toothpaste (do NOT use human toothpaste as can be toxic if swallowed)
    - Reward(s)
  • Techniques
    - Start by letting your dog get used to the toothbrush and toothpaste.
    - Slowly work on handling them near their mouth. Lift their lips and slowly and gently rub your fingers on their teeth and gums
    - When your pet is comfortable with you around their mouth, gradually switch to putting toothpaste on your finger, and transitioning to the toothbrush.
    -Once your pet will tolerate the toothbrush, focus brushing along the gum line and getting the outer surface of each tooth. Brush at least 30 seconds on each side, or as long as your pet will tolerate - You do not need to rinse the toothpaste off from the teeth

For videos on tooth brushing in our pet's, please click the following links as examples;



Oral Hygiene Rinse is available for dogs and cats. The rinse is meant to be used once daily when brushing is not an option. The rinse works because it contains chlorhexidine, an anti-bacterial antiseptic that kills the bacteria in the mouth for up to 24 hours. When bacteria is not allowed to live in the mouth, tartar and plaque is less likely to form. You apply one squirt in the her mouth and she will swish it around on her own and do the work for you.


Dental treats are a great supplement to an oral health routine, but they are not enough simply on their own to prevent dental disease. Rewarding our pets for good behavior is an integral part of being a pet owner and bonding with the pet. Rewarding them with treats that also help improve their dental health, is even better. Always look for the VOHC seal on treats to ensure they are endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

**The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) is an independent veterinary dental group that tests claims manufacturers make about their dental preventative products. Click DOG or CAT for appropriate and approved species related products**

  • Tartar Shield Rawhide Chews - beef/bacon - The fibrous nature of the extruded Chews helps remove dental plaque and oral debris while a clinically-proven additive (sodium tripolyphosphate) significantly reduces the reformation of dental calculus. VOHC seal for Tartar
  • CET Chews - beef/poultry with dextrose - along with an abrasive texture, has enzymes that is supposed to reduce plaque and tartar formation
  • CET Veggie Dents - Contains Chlorhexidine which is antibacterial and helps to reduce plaque and tartar formation. VOHC seal for Tartar


Dental food is designed to help prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar while meeting the specific nutrient energy requirements of adult dogs. Some diets employ a specific kibble design and others include a chemical anti-tartar poly-phosphate ingredient. Again, this is a good supplement to an oral health routine, but it may not be enough to completely prevent periodontal disease.

If you have any questions of concerns, please contact us at 204-822-4333