Everything You Need to Know About Pet Dental Care

Teeth care should be part of any pet’s routine, but is often overlooked, and forgotten about. Teeth care consists of checking your pet’s teeth regularly, providing them with food and chews to keep them clean, and teeth brushing. But why is it so important to keep track of your pets dental hygiene?

If you don’t take preventative measures to keep your pet’s teeth clean, food particles and bacteria get attached to your pet’s teeth and produce tartar. Eventually, this will lead to dental and gum disease, loss of teeth, pain, and bad breath. Dental disease can also increase the risk of a bacterial infection in the bloodstream, which can lead to heart disease and lung issues like pneumonia and bronchitis.

Keep track of the state of the teeth

The most basic thing any pet owner should do, is to open the mouth of their pet regularly and check their teeth. Make sure to have a good look at all their teeth, including molars. Check if there are any rotten, and/or broken teeth, and how much plaque is on them. Pets often show very subtle symptoms, or no symptoms at all, when having minor issues with their teeth, so dental issues often go unnoticed if you don’t actively look for them. Pets that start showing symptoms, like decreased eating, often already have advanced dental issues. An adult dog has 42 adult teeth. Their teeth consist of 12 incisors, four canines, 16 premolars, and 10 molars. An adult cat has 30 teeth. Their teeth consist of 12 incisors, four canines, 10 premolars, and four molars.

Pet Dental Care

How to keep your pet’s teeth clean

Food and treats

Regular chewing promotes good oral health. Provide your pet with food and treats that it can chew on to help remove plaque. Avoid cooked bones, as they can splinter and crack. 


There are dental toys available which have grooves, rubber knobs, and nylon bristles. Though not as effective as brushing, these toys will help rub off soft plaque.


Brush your pet’s teeth in a calm and relaxed setting. Learning your pet to brush their teeth is often a process, and should be done in a positive and force free way. Some pets will only let you lift their lip the first time, others will let you brush all their teeth. Make sure to keep looking at your pet, and go at their pace. If you have a puppy or kitten, it is advised to start practicing by looking in their mouth (and brushing if you wish to do this), as soon as you can.

Before starting, have all the tools on hand. There are special toothbrushes for dogs and cats, which are made in a way, so they are easier to navigate in their mouth. The toothpaste you use should also be for a cat/dog, as human toothpaste often contains toxic ingredients like xylitol. They are often also flavored to make the experience better for your pet. 

Advice regarding how many times a pet’s teeth should be brushed range vastly. Some professionals advise twice a day, while others say that a few times a week is sufficient. Settle on a routine that suits you, and your pet.

If brushing with a toothbrush is giving your pet too much anxiety, you could consider starting with dental wipes, cloth wipes, or oral sprays/gels. 

Veterinary dental care

If any issues arise with your pet’s teeth, contact your veterinarian. Most vets can perform basic dental care like removing plaque and rotten teeth. Advanced dental care, like root canals, braces etc, are also possible at specialized veterinarians. 

Teeth care for dogs and cats

An important part of the care routine of any pet. By taking care of your pet’s teeth, the chances of dental problems decrease, keeping your pet healthy and happy. Did you know that our pet sitters can brush your dog’s or cat’s teeth if needed? If you would like to know more about our pet sitting, dog walking, pet relocation or dog training services, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help.

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