Importance of Pet Dental Care in Dogs and Cats for Overall Health


By the time your pet is 3, he or she will very likely already have signs of periodontal disease. If left untreated, periodontal can worsen and eventually affect the kidney, liver and heart. To prevent extensive dental concerns, pain, and other health issues caused by them, pet dental care should include teeth and gum checks by your veterinarian at least once per year. As with many other health issues, prevention, early detection and treatment can help control future deterioration and problems.

pet dental care

Your annual pet dental care should include cleaning, scaling and polishing, as well as any necessary x-rays, extractions, adjustments and repairs. Many dental issues happen below the gum line, so to keep your pet still, pet dental care is performed under anesthesia. By putting your pet under, the dental procedure can be less painful and less stressful for all involved. The risks of anesthesia are far outweighed by the benefits of dental care. Your pet may be a little groggy for the rest of the day, but should have no additional side effects. Your veterinarian will advise you on other dental pet care options if anesthesia is not safe for your pet due to other conditions.

Pet Dental Care Begins at Home

Aside from annual pet dental care at the veterinarian, there are steps you can take at home to keep your dog or cat’s mouth healthy. Brushing your pet’s teeth with a pet-friendly toothpaste is, first and foremost, the most effective strategy for home dental care. Daily brushings are ideal, but even several teeth brushings a week are helpful. You can remember to brush your pet’s teeth by doing it at the same time every day, just like brushing your own teeth for your dental health! Also, ask your veterinarian about safe and effective dental chew treats and dental toys to supplement the at home brushings.

Dogs are a little more willing to have their teeth brushed, especially if you start at a young age and they are used to the procedure. Cats, however, can be more challenging.

Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Get your pet accustomed to the idea of having his or her teeth brushed. Start by gently massaging their gums with a finger or cotton swab. Keep it short, and be aware of any discomfort.
  2. Use a toothbrush especially designed for your pet. Both dog and cat tooth brushes are smaller and softer than human ones. Find a design that works best for both of you—with either a handle or finger cover.
  3. Don’t use human toothpaste. There are toothpastes with flavors and formulations designed for cats and dogs.
  4. Be gentle. Don’t brush too hard.
  5. Reward your pet with a treat and/or praise.

Call BPAH at 972-690-6900 to Schedule Pet Dental Care in Dogs and Cats

It is also important to check your pet’s mouth for signs of infections, redness and tartar build up, and call your veterinarian if you notice any indications of escalating dental disease. Other signs to look for are:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose and/or missing teeth
  • Abnormal chewing and drooling
  • Refusal or inability to eat
  • Signs of pain in or around the mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swelling and inflammation in or around the mouth
  • Discharge from nose or eyes

pet dental care dog teeth

In summary, good pet dental care is paramount to the overall health of your pet. Annual cleanings by your veterinarian and maintenance at home will keep your pet’s mouth healthy. By taking care of your pet’s teeth and gums, you prevent:

  • Tooth loss
  • Bad breath
  • Pain
  • Future health problems in other parts of the body
  • Advanced periodontal and dental disease

Schedule Pet Dental Care in Dogs and Cats with the Best Richardson Veterinarians

Have you noticed signs of dental disease in your pet? Is your dog or cat due – or overdue – for a professional teeth and gum cleaning? Contact the caring veterinarians and staff at Breckinridge Park Animal Hospital to schedule an evaluation of your pet’s dental health. Call 972-690-6900 or click here to schedule. BPAH is AAHA accredited, conveniently located in Richardson, and highly rated by our clients.

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This information is not a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding an animal’s medical condition, always seek the advice of your veterinarian.

Breckinridge Park Animal Hospital serves the northeast Dallas suburban area. We provide the community with some of the best veterinarians in Richardson, Garland, Plano, Murphy, Wylie, Sachse and Mesquite.

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