Looking after your pet’s teeth


Cats and dogs need regular dental care. Although pets rarely suffer from dental decay they, like humans, can suffer from gum disease or broken teeth.

The reason that animals suffer less from tooth decay is that their diets are usually low in carbohydrate and their saliva is low in acid which protects the teeth. This is why is not good to give pets chocolates and sweets.

Like their owners pets benefit from regular brushing and a trip to the pet dental hygenist to keep teeth and gums healthy.

Periodontal disease

Exactly as in humans pets can suffer from periodontal disease, which attacks the gums, bones and other tissue around the teeth and eventually to tooth loss.

This disease starts with a build-up of plaque whch turns to tartar which provides a perfect climate for bacteria to multiply – these are the same bacteria thought to be a contributor to heart disease in humans. Likewise in animals it can aggravate problems for animals. The tartar also causes gum inflammation. Buy pets healthy chews to exercise their gums.


As soon as a puppy or kitten first grows teeth, check that they are growing properly and are not crooked or causing pressure inside the mouth. If necessary ask your vet to look the animal over. Some smaller dogs are are more at risk of these problems.

Good oral hygiene for pets includes regular brushing. You may have to get your pet used to having a brush in its mouth. Again you can ask a vet to help teach you how to train your pet to accept this. There are special toothbrushes for pets that can be bought from pet stores.

Like humans if your pet has bleeding gums you should consult a vet.