Work Up To Brushing

Do You Know the #1 Cause of Pet Illness?

If you’re like most people, you’re not excited about going to the dentist. You probably figure your pet won’t be either. Maybe you think you don’t need to worry about their teeth unless they start drooling or cocking their head when eating. Sadly, by then your fur baby is almost certainly in pain¦ maybe worse.

By age three, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats are affected by periodontal disease. Bacteria from mouth infections can spread to other organs, weakening the heart, liver or kidneys. While folklore asserts that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, dogs and cats simply have bacterial strains that are different from ours, but when causing infection, can still be just as dangerous. By age 7-8, the effects of your pet’s periodontal disease may be IRREVERSIBLE.

So, it’s time to ask yourself, does my fur child:

  • have bad breath (often the earliest indicator of a problem)
  • have teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • bleed from the mouth or shy away from being touched there
  • drool or drop food when chewing
  • paw at their mouth
  • have reduced appetite or refuse to eat

If the answer to any of these is œyes, it’s time for an immediate dental exam with your vet!

Even if it’s œno, a yearly exam greatly increases the chances of your cat or dog leading a longer, healthier life. Why be checked by a professional? Most dental disease occurs below the gum line so it’s critical to know what to look for, and it may even require more thorough evaluation (like x-rays).

What can you do to keep your fur kids smiling?

  1. Commit to a yearly dental exam, with periodic scaling polishing (just like you do for your own teeth). Yes, that may mean some light anesthesia but the benefits of preventing pain complications from dental disease far outweighs the slight risk of anesthetic complications.
  2. Brush your pet’s teeth at least several times a week (yes, even your cat’s teeth). You can get help on how to œwork up to brushing here. Click here for video coaching moral support 🙂
  3. Choose dental toys, treats and food that have the seal of acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council. While these don’t replace brushing, they offer helpful supplementation.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I ignored my cat Smudge’s bad breath. I let the hassle of acclimating her to a toothbrush, and my fear of putting her under anesthesia keep me from recognizing the pain that she was experiencing. Our pets are so stoic, and I just didn’t know.

Thank goodness my veterinarian routinely does dental exams whenever she sees my babies. She suspected something was wrong below the gum lines and sent us to a veterinary dentist. Sure enough, there were problems”and once they’d been corrected, Smudge started racing around and chowing down like she was a kitten again!

More info on how to keep them smiling:


The info they get if they click to learn more for œWorking Up To Brushing Your Pets Teeth

  • Start by touching your pet around the mouth while cuddling. Pull her lip up to look at her teeth. Touch a tooth. If you have a puppy or kitten, start getting them used to mouth touching immediately.
  • Wipe your pet’s teeth with a gauze pad or dental wipe from a pet store.
  • Introduce a toothbrush with pet toothpaste (never use a human toothpaste) and try to work up to several times a week.
  • If your pet gets spooked, go back to using gauze pads, if need be, simple warm water.

Even this is better than no tooth care at all.

–Dr. Marty Becker

:-)”Cat/Dog Tooth Brushing Step by Step