We have collated your most-asked pet dental FAQs from our Facebook call-out and put them to Greencross Vet, Dr Adam Sternberg.

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Dogs

My vet says my dog’s teeth are great. Is there anything to help combat that gross doggy breath or do we just put up with it?

After a meal, a small amount of doggie breath is normal. But, it should dissipate with removal of the plaque and food items that may be stuck. If the breath is “gross” then it is recommended to see your veterinarian again. There may be an infected tooth or meat caught between the teeth and causing the smell. I would not recommend that you put up with it, as it is not normal.

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My Corgi leaves bloodstains on tennis balls that he loves chasing. Should I be worried?

From a teeth point of view, tennis balls are ok to chew to remove plaque (providing they do not chew off the hair and swallow it or chew the ball). If there are bloodstains, this may indicate gum disease or other dental issues.

How often should a vet look at a dog or cat’s teeth and how much does it cost?

Once the teeth are professionally cleaned I suggest to my clients once per month to ensure the teeth remain clean. If we can document good oral hygiene then we can drop this back to every two to three months. We do not want tartar to accumulate.

At Greencross Vets, we give free dental health checks, and we’re happy to answer your pet dental FAQs during these sessions.

Cats

My two-and-a-half-year-old cat had to have 10 teeth pulled out because they had started to rot. Why would his teeth have rotted?

There are many potential causes for this to happen. If he eats mostly wet food then there’s no physical abrasion when he chews. That allows plaque to accumulate, and progress to tartar and gingivitis. Gingivitis leads to gum recession leading to teeth removal. If he eats mostly dry food then maybe he is eating too fast- eating too fast doesn’t promote contact time with the teeth. Viral infections such as FIV and breed are also play a huge part.

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My cat is 1-and-a-half-years old but already has tartar build-up. How can I prevent this from getting worse?

Once there is tartar build up there is nothing that can be done at home to remove it and with time it will become worse. Ways to slow it down may include good quality dental dry foods, raw human grade chunky meat, bones, such as chicken wings, necks and feet, chicken hearts, daily brushing and chew toys.

Cats and bad breath. How can it be prevented?

Promoting good oral hygiene centres on a few main areas:

  • Good quality dry dental food
  • Ensure they eat slowly
  • Ensure the kibble size is adequate
  • Daily brushing is paramount and needs to start at the kitten stage
  • Regular dental check-ups
  • Chunky meat and bones included in diet
  • Avoid soft, wet and tinned food.

 Petbarn recommends these five dental essentials.

Petbarn recommends looking after your pet’s teeth at home with our range of dental care for cats and dogs. Don’t forget to get in touch if you have any other pet dental FAQs!