PREVENTIVE DENTAL HOME CARE FOR YOUR PET
Preventive dental home care is the least expensive and most rewarding form of home care. The goal of any pet dental home care program is to decrease plaque (bacterial film) and prevent calculus (tartar) formation on your pet's teeth. Prevention of periodontal disease involves a multifaceted approach combining the use of daily brushing, diets, chews and treats. Home care can make a significant difference in your pet's overall health and comfort. Remember, the more that you can do at home, the less will need to be done by your veterinarian.
Daily brushing remains the single most effective way to decrease plaque and tartar. Daily brushing mechanically eliminates the plaque or sticky film that forms on your pet's teeth thus preventing the development of tartar.
For cats we recommend the CET Oral Hygiene Kit. Made specifically for cats, the small brush or fingerbrush can be used in conjunction with the seafood or poultry flavored enzymatic gel to remove plaque before it turns into tartar.
For dogs, we recommend the CET toothbrush or fingerbrush used in conjunction with flavored CET toothpaste. Human toothpaste should be avoided as it has ingredients that may be harmful to your pet.
Brush ONLY the outside of all of your pet's teeth with the same circular motion that you use on your own teeth. Pay special attention to the gumline where plaque and tartar tend to accumulate. Remember to make it a pleasant experience for everyone. Praise! Praise! Praise!
The VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) is an organization that provides an objective means of recognizing commercially available products that meet pre-set standards of effectiveness in controlling the accumulation of plaque and calculus in dogs and cats. For more information see www.vohc.org
The following products have the VOHC seal in the "helps control plaque" and "helps control tartar" category:
- Hill's Canine t/d Original and Small Bites
- Hill's Feline t/d
- Friskies Feline Dental Diet
- Science Diet Oral Care Diet for Dogs and Cats
- Canine Greenies
- Hartz Flavor Infused Oral Chews (large dog and small dog sizes)
- Purina Veterinary DH Dental Health brand Feline Formula
- Vetradent Dog Chew
- Canine Greenies all sizes
- Canine Greenies Lite all sizes
- Canine Greenies Senior all sizes
- Brite Bites and Checkups Chews for Dogs all sizes
The following products have received VOHC approval in the "helps control tartar" category:
- Del Monte Tartar Check Dog Biscuit Small and Large sizes
- Friskies Cheweez Beefhide Treats
- Iams Chunk Dental Defense Diet for Dogs
- Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Diet for Dogs
- Purina Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health brand Canine Formula
- Purina Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health brand Small Bites Canine Formula
- Purina Veterinary Diets Dental Chews Brand Canine Treats
- Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews for Dogs
- Vetradent Dog Chews Small Size
The following products have received VOHC approval in the "helps control plaque" category:
- Healthymouth Antiplaque Water Additive
Remember that there is no perfect chew toy for your pet. Supervision should be provided whenever your pet is given chew toys. A good rule to follow is that your dog should never chew on anything harder than its teeth. Nylabones, natural bones, pig ears and cow hooves may lead to fractured teeth. Kong toys are firm rubber toys that are compressible and provide good chewing activity for your dog.