The Dos and Don’ts of Pet Dental Care: Veterinary Tips for a Healthy Smile


The Dos and Don’ts of Pet Dental Care: Veterinary Tips for a Healthy Smile

The Dos and Don’ts of Pet Dental Care: Veterinary Tips for a Healthy Smile

As any pet owner knows, keeping our furry friends healthy and happy is a top priority. And one often-overlooked aspect of pet health is dental care. Just like humans, pets can suffer from dental issues that can lead to discomfort, pain, and even more serious health problems. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the dos and don’ts of pet dental care, along with valuable tips from veterinary experts to ensure your pet maintains a healthy smile.

The Dos of Pet Dental Care

1. Regular Brushing: Just like humans, pets benefit from regular brushing to remove plaque and bacteria from their teeth. Be sure to use toothpaste specifically formulated for pets, as human toothpaste can be harmful to animals.

2. Dental Chews and Toys: Providing your pet with dental chews and toys can help to keep their teeth clean and healthy. Look for products that are designed to promote dental health, such as those with ridges or textures that help to scrub plaque away.

3. Professional Cleanings: Regular professional dental cleanings by a veterinarian are essential for maintaining your pet’s oral health. These cleanings can help to remove built-up tartar and prevent more serious dental issues from developing.

The Don’ts of Pet Dental Care

1. Human Food: While it can be tempting to share your food with your pet, many human foods can be harmful to their dental health. Avoid feeding your pet foods that are high in sugar or starch, as these can contribute to plaque and tartar buildup.

2. Ignoring Signs of Dental Issues: If your pet is showing signs of dental problems, such as bad breath, difficulty eating, or swollen gums, don’t ignore them. These could be signs of more serious dental issues that require attention from a veterinarian.

3. Skipping Dental Check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are just as important for pets as they are for humans. Don’t skip these appointments, as they can help to catch dental issues early and prevent them from becoming more serious.

Veterinary Tips for a Healthy Smile

We spoke with Dr. Sarah Wilson, DVM, a veterinary dentist with over 10 years of experience, to get her top tips for maintaining your pet’s dental health:

“One of the most important things pet owners can do is to establish a regular dental care routine for their pets,” Dr. Wilson says. “This should include daily brushing, regular dental check-ups, and professional cleanings as needed.”

She also emphasizes the importance of choosing the right dental products for your pet. “Not all dental chews and toys are created equal,” Dr. Wilson advises. “Look for products that are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) and are designed to promote dental health.”


Keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy is an essential part of their overall well-being. By following the dos and don’ts of pet dental care and heeding the advice of veterinary experts, you can ensure that your pet maintains a healthy smile for years to come.


How often should I brush my pet’s teeth?

For optimal dental health, it’s best to brush your pet’s teeth at least every other day. Daily brushing is even better, but every other day is a good goal to aim for.

What should I do if my pet resists tooth brushing?

If your pet is resistant to tooth brushing, start by introducing the toothbrush and toothpaste gradually. You can also try using dental wipes or dental chews as an alternative to brushing.

Are there any signs I should look out for that indicate my pet has dental issues?

Yes, some common signs of dental issues in pets include bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, excessive drooling, difficulty eating, and reluctance to chew on toys or treats.



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