Are your pet’s pearly whites more yellow-brown in color? Does his breath make you plug your nose? We wouldn’t be surprised if many of you answered
yes and
yes. By the time they’re 3 years old, most
dogs and
cats
suffer from some degree of dental disease — and yellow-brown tartar and 
stinky breath are just two of the warning signs. But your pet doesn’t have to be part of that disheartening statistic! There are steps you can take at home — and with the help of your veterinarian — to help
combat dental disease.

Check out the photo gallery below to learn how you can improve your
dog or cat’s
dental health.

  • Labrador mouth
  • Dog getting teeth brushed
  • Cat getting teeth examined
  • Dog with orange toy
  • Cat eating food from bowl



What You Can Do to Help Stave Off Dental Disease

Labrador mouth

Thinkstock

Know the Warning Signs of Dental Disease

Dog getting teeth brushed

Thinkstock

Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home

Cat getting teeth examined

Thinkstock

Get Your Pet’s Teeth Professionally Cleaned

Dog with orange toy

Thinkstock

Provide Safe Chew Toys

Some chew toys can break your dog’s teeth. As a general rule of thumb, Dr. Marty Becker says you
shouldn’t give your pet a chew toy that’s hard enough that you wouldn’t want it
to hit you in the knee. And while you’re at it, don’t allow your pet to chew on rocks, fencing or
other hard objects that could damage his teeth.

If you want to give your pet a toy that may help improve his dental
health, look for dental chews, toys and treats that carry the Veterinary Oral
Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance
or ask your veterinarian for
recommendations.

Cat eating food from bowl

Thinkstock

Try Alternative Treatments

If your dog or cat really won’t let you brush his teeth,
there are other dental-care treatments you can try. Some foods for dogs and cats are specifically formulated to help control
plaque and tartar. Look for dental diets that carry the VOHC seal of
approval. Oral rinses and gels may help
keep bacteria from adhering to the tooth enamel, and giving your pet drinking
water additives daily can help prevent plaque accumulation. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian for advice. He may be able to
recommend a product that works for you and your pet.

  • cat mouth
    Getting Serious About Your Cat’s Dental Health
  • Dog with mouth wide open
    5 Pet Dental Health Myths Debunked
  • Up close view of dog's teeth
    Answers to FAQs About Dog and Cat Dental Care
  • Toothpaste
    Are You Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Wrong?





More on Vetstreet:

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  • Why Does My Cat Walk on Me?
  • Don’t Fall for These Pet Health Myths
  • Most Popular Puppy Names of the Year
  • Common Health Conditions in Senior Dogs

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