National Pet Dental Health Month
Published on: February 6, 2019
It’s a new month, and time for some fresh awareness of Pet Dental Health Month! You’ve probably looked at your companion’s teeth and wondered what it takes to maintain proper dental health. Surprisingly (or maybe not!), they require basically the same sort of care we do: regular brushing and trips to their dentist. But, there are a few details to remember, and Wag N’ Wash is here to help!
Unfortunately, our companions can’t tell us when they’re in pain, or when their teeth are bothering them. So, how do we know when to take our companion for their first dentist visit? Ideally, we should schedule our companion’s first dental check-up around one to two-years-old. This depends on the breed and size of your pup: typically, smaller breeds need proper dental care earlier, while bigger breeds can wait till they’re closer to two years old. Interestingly, smaller breeds tend to build up tartar quicker than their larger cousins!
The Rest is History
Peoples of ancient cultures used crude toothbrushes made from common items, like twigs, in efforts to keep their teeth clean. This was typically effective, until we developed agriculture and introduced more carbohydrates and sugar into our diets about 10,000 years ago. It’s only recently (well, actually over 200 years ago) that modern dentistry and oral hygiene started making big strides to get to where we are today. And, our companions have benefited, too! We not only have the tools to help care for them, but the knowledge that proper oral hygiene and dental health increases their lifespans as well as their quality of life.
Speaking of the proper tools, do you know what your companion needs for regular, at-home care? Not much! A finger-tip toothbrush or any human-grade toothbrush will work just fine (try one with soft bristles, to go easy on their gums). However, toothpaste made especially for dogs is essential. Dogs don’t know how to spit and human toothpaste contains chemicals that are harmful to your dog (like fluoride, and even xylitol). In addition to doggy toothpaste, you can choose mouthwash solutions, dental chews/treats, and even food additives, all of which can be found at your local Wag N’ Wash!
K-9 Smiles, a dental service for your companion, partners with some of our stores: check out our interview with them below!