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Dental Care for Your Pets

pet dental care

Chew Toys 

Chew toys can do more for your pet than satisfy playful tendencies or keep them from chewing your furniture. Some chew toys can actually help build and protect strong teeth. Gnawing on chew toys can eliminate some softer tartar and stimulate your pet’s gums. However, choosing the right chew toy is important.

Make sure you look for nylon and rubber chew toys or toxin-free rawhide if your pet prefers it. If your pet doesn’t particularly like chew toys, make them more inviting by filling them with treats. Many companies even make edible pet chews specifically designed to improve their oral health. They are good for, not only your pet’s mouth, but also for their overall health. Chew toys are a great way to bolster your pet’s at-home dental care routine.  

Per their dentist’s recommendation, most people brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Practicing regular at-home care and routinely visiting an oral health professional can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Having good oral hygiene practices is also essential for helping maintain one’s overall health.

Did you know that having good oral hygiene is an important part of your pet’s overall health too? In fact, pets are just as susceptible to the negative repercussions associated with poor oral hygiene as humans are. Unfortunately, few people brush or clean their pet’s teeth as frequently as is recommended — if at all. Here’s a reminder about why it is just as critical for you to practice good oral hygiene habits on your pet as it is to practice them on yourself.  

Periodontal Disease

Whether in humans or in animals, periodontal (gum) disease ranges from early-stage gingivitis, which is characterized by gum inflammation, to advanced-stage periodontitis, which is often characterized by damage to the jawbone and soft tissue around the teeth.

The root cause of periodontal disease is plaque buildup around the teeth that gradually spreads under the gum line. When left untreated, bacteria under the gum line can make the problem worse. As it progresses, periodontal disease damages the supporting tissue around the tooth, which can lead to loose teeth that eventually fall out. Furthermore, certain chemicals released by your animal’s own immune system actually speeds up this process.

Thankfully, practicing regular at-home dental care and visiting your veterinarian for regular checkups  can help prevent the onset of periodontal disease and other dental diseases in your pet. Use the following guide to keep your pet’s pearly whites sparkling bright.

How to Clean Your Pet’s Teeth

  1. If possible, introduce your pets to the concept of having their teeth brushed at a young age. Start slowly, so they acclimate to having a toothbrush or finger brush and toothpaste in their mouth. At first, simply put a toothbrush or finger brush with toothpaste on it into your pet’s mouth for  5 seconds at a time. You can slowly increase this amount of time to 2-minute increments, once they become comfortable having a toothbrush and toothpaste in their mouth.
  2. As your pet becomes more comfortable with this process, start brushing their teeth. Use your finger or a toothbrush to slowly brush one tooth at a time, focusing on the gum line. The junction of the tooth and gum is one of the most important areas to reach. 
  3. Retract your pet’s lips to create a smile and get to work on the back molars. Spend about 1 minute on the upper row of teeth and another minute on the lower row of teeth. If your pet simply won’t tolerate having his teeth brushed for this long, focus primarily on the upper and outer molars.
  4. Lastly, make it fun! Use kibble, treats or toys to reward your pet.

Remember: Always use toothpaste that is specifically recommended for use on animals. 

If you have any additional questions about your pet’s oral hygiene or would like more information about the correct way to brush your furry friend’s teeth, contact us for help. We can provide teeth cleanings for your pet, recommend a veterinary dental specialist or simply provide more information about your pet’s oral health. 

Exclusive Offer

AAHA Accredited

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

Office Hours

DayOpenClosed
Monday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Tuesday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Wednesday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Thursday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Friday7:30 AM6:00 PM
Saturday7:30 AM5:00 PM
SundayClosedClosed
Day Open Closed
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
7:30 AM 7:30 AM 7:30 AM 7:30 AM 7:30 AM 7:30 AM Closed
6:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 5:00 PM Closed

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