Dental Health Products/At Home Care

Dental Health Month – Post #1

Dental Health Products/At Home Care

Did you know that by two years of age, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease? Your pet may not need a full dental cleaning under general anesthesia at that time; however, they may already be accumulating plaque and tartar and often show no clinical signs that this is happening. Because of this, it is important to think about your pet’s dental health before you start to notice any outward signs of dental disease. There are many steps that you can take at home to help care for your pet’s teeth.

The best option to keep your pet’s teeth clear of the plaque and tartar that cause gingivitis is to brush their teeth daily. There are different types of brushes available on the market for pets, so it may take some experimentation to figure out what works best for you and your pet. There are brushes with a long handle similar to what a human would use, as well as versions designed to fit over your finger. If you do take on the task of brushing your pet’s teeth, make sure to use veterinary specific toothpaste. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be harmful if swallowed by your dog or cat. Veterinary toothpaste has the added benefit of coming in flavors your pet is more likely to enjoy, like beef or tuna.

 It can be a challenge to get your pet to accept tooth brushing. You may need to use baby steps with lots of rewards along the way to help your pet feel more comfortable with the entire process. If you want more info on getting started brushing your pet’s teeth, we would be happy to show you how and share some of the ways you can make brushing a positive experience. You can also check out this video on YouTube:

If brushing is not an option, there are treats, special diets, and other products available that can also help. However, if you have been to a pet store recently, you have probably noticed that there are often entire aisles of products available that claim to help keep your dog or cat’s teeth clean and freshen their breath. But with so many options out there, how do you choose?

While you are browsing for a product appropriate for your pet, one of the more important things to look for is a VOHC seal located on the product packaging. VOHC stands for Veterinary Oral Health Council. The VOHC is a non-profit organization that allows their seal to be used on any product that has had testing done and is proven to help slow the formation of plaque and tartar. Essentially, this seal can help you determine which products can back up the claims that they make in regards to your pets oral health. There is a full list of VOHC accepted products available at

The brand of veterinary dental products we recommend most often in our hospital is the CET brand. They make many products, including a variety treats and chews, toothpaste, and different types of toothbrushes, dental rinses, and water additives. We carry many of these products in the hospital; they can also be found using our online store and entering “CET” in the search bar. Our online store is accessed at this link:

Even with regular tooth brushing or the use of dental chews, treat or other products, your dog or cat may still need a full dental cleaning at some point during their life. Our doctor’s will assess your pet’s teeth yearly at their annual visits and let you know when it is time for their teeth to be cleaned.

*February is Dental Health Month! Stay tuned for more blog posts and more information about your pet’s dental health!*

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