Just like humans, ensuring a dog or cat’s well-being requires regular teeth maintenance. It may not be all that pleasant to have to regularly go into your pet’s mouth, but it’s important for maintaining your pet’s overall health. Neglecting their dental health can lead to gum disease. In fact, bad breath is the number one sign of gum disease. What’s more, heart disease, kidney failure, and liver disease are all connected to gum disease. This isn’t something to take lightly!

Not only can falling behind on your pet’s teeth lead to serious health repercussions, it can also be incredibly painful if your pet has an infected tooth. Imagine trying to eat with a toothache! Below are some simple ways to help keep your pet’s teeth and mouth healthy (plus, these tips will help stop bad breath so you can still enjoy your BFF giving you kisses!).

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Annual Dental Checkups

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Your pet’s veterinarian is the best person to determine the cause of your cat or dog’s bad breath because they know their diet, behavior, and oral hygiene. Next time you are at the vet with your furry friend, be sure to ask about maintaining proper oral health. It’s also important to have your dog or cat’s teeth professionally cleaned by your vet and to have any decaying teeth promptly removed. Your vet will let you know when a professional cleaning is needed. To make the vet not so scary for your pet, check out these tips.

Routinely Brush Their Teeth

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While brushing your dog or cat’s teeth is not the most enjoyable activity to do, it is imperative. You should brush your pet’s teeth at least once a week, with some veterinarians recommending daily brushing. At your local pet store, they can point you in the right direction to which toothbrush and toothpaste are right for your dog or cat. If you’d like to opt for a natural option, try coconut oil as a toothpaste. It will help fight off bad breath and work wonders for your pet’s mouth!

Cut Out the Carbs

By sticking to a species-specific diet that is free of grains, fillers, and other additives, you’ll naturally help your dog have fresher breath. Excess carbs and sugar can linger in your dog’s teeth feeding bacteria that cause bad breath.

Use Dental Treats

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At your local pet store, you’ll find specialized treats to help keep their breath fresh and tartar at bay. There are also mouthwashes and breath sprays specifically for dogs and cats. For dogs, you could also consider providing safe chew toys for them. Chew toys offer a natural way to keep your dog’s teeth clean, simply by them chewing on the toy. If you’d like, you could add a flavored toothpaste to the inside of the chew toy to help reduce plaque buildup.

Use Probiotics and Other Natural Solutions

Using a probiotic specifically for dogs can help build up good bacteria in their mouth. You could also add a teaspoon of coconut oil to their food to help with their breath. A dash of cinnamon has also been known to help with pet’s bad breath.

More Ways to Help Your Pet’s Health

The dogs and cats who share our homes rely on us for their health. Being a good pet parent includes making sure their chompers are clean and healthy! If you have any other tips on how to help maintain your pet’s teeth, leave a comment below to share with other pet guardians.

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For other ways to ensure your pet’s well-being, check out these One Green Planet articles:

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