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Pet Dental Health Tips

February 1 2018

Did you know that February is Pet Dental Health Month? Just like people, dogs and cats can suffer from a variety of painful dental issues. Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy is very important! Read on as a local McHenry, IL vet offers some helpful dental health tips for pets.

Watch For Warning Signs

Fluffy and Fido can’t tell you if their teeth hurt, so it’s up to you to watch for red flags. While these may vary slightly, depending on what kind of pet you have, there are some common ones to look out for. These include bad breath; ropy or bloody drool; swelling; tartar buildup; and bleeding gums. Your pet may also have difficulty eating with a toothache, and may not be very playful. Crankiness is another warning sign. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these symptoms.

Schedule Regular Exams

We recommend that all pets have their teeth examined at least once a year, starting at age one. As mentioned above, it’s also important to call your vet immediately if you suspect your furry pal has dental issues. Treatment is always offered on a case-by-case basis, once a diagnosis has been made.


Brushing your pet’s teeth is a great way to keep those choppers healthy! Training will take some time, so start slowly. At first, just rub your pet’s gums with your finger. Talk to your dog or cat gently as you do this, and offer toys and treats afterwards. Once your four-legged buddy has accepted this, you can start using a pet toothbrush and then, finally, pet toothpaste. Never use human products on your animal companion: things formulated for people aren’t safe for Fido and Fluffy.

Offer Dental Products

Aside from brushing, there are some other things you can do to keep your dog or cat’s mouth healthy. Fido will benefit from dental formula treats, chews, and toys. You can also offer your pet dental-formula kibble. These things all help reduce and remove plaque and tartar.

Provide Fresh Water

Proper hydration is just as important for pets as it is for people. Make sure your furry buddy always has fresh, clean water. This will help keep your dog or cat’s mouth clean, and will also help rinse away food particles.

Do you know or suspect that your furry pal has dental issues? Contact us, your McHenry, IL pet hospital, today!