We have been repeating this habit since childhood. But it all makes sense when we begin to understand the problems that the lack of proper brushing and the use of mouthwash can cause. Today, why should it be different with our pets. They also need to have their teeth brushed, even if less frequently.
Veterinarian, Isabella Vincoletto says that animals should have their teeth brushed two to three times a week, which may vary according to the availability of someone to brush the teeth and the lifestyle of the pets. The occurrence of oral health problems has been increasing, and requiring frequent clinical pet care. The numbers indicate that approximately 85% of dogs and cats have some periodontal disease.
“Many are unaware that oral health problems can harm the health of the animal as a whole, since the bacteria can get into the bloodstream, thus affecting other organs,” she says.
Among the most common dental diseases is gingivitis which is an inflammation of the gums and seen as redness at the site. Another common process disease is periodontitis, which leads to a deeper gum inflammation, with potential loss of supporting bone structure of the teeth, thus leading to tooth loss.
Ideally try to accustom your pet starting as puppies. Always associating the process with something pleasurable such as play, walks, cuddles or praise.
For puppies, this process is easily adaptable and the pet owner can use a gauze or finger cot as a toothbrush substitute for pets. The cleaning routine should be keep throughout until adulthood. As for the adult animals, which have never been conditioned to brushing, one needs to have much patience because the manipulation of within the mouth is something new for dogs and cats.
During the first week, start with short sessions – two minutes – just trying to get your finger on the gums of the animal. Be sure to always remember to reward positive feedback stimulus to the pet. In the second week, the owner can wrap a gauze bandage on his/her finger and extend the sessions for the pet. You can replace the gauze with a finger cot thus changing the texture and touch felt by the pet. Repeat the process twice a week. If the pet has become accustomed to the finger cot and gauze, then the pet owner can replace it with brush.
Always brush in a gentle way, making slow circular movements and without pushing against the gums of the pet. It is important to seek quiet spots without distractions.