Keeping Teeth Clean

Taylor Okun, Cats n Dogs, executive photoHi Folks,

This is Taylor, with Buddy, Max, Mango and Sunshine Kitty – the whole Cats n Dogs newsletter crew. We’re teaming up for this month’s newsletter. Hasn’t this been quite the January, weather-wise! Last summer was dry, without our daily rain showers. Now, DAYS of rain and clouds.

Max says, “It’s been so chilly, I’ve been wearing my fleece sweatshirt outside and inside! But our mango trees are loving all the rain.”

Well, FEBRUARY is just around the corner and so are warm and sunnier days, for sure. In our doggie & kitty world, February is also Dental Month. It’s a month that focuses on our furry friends’ teeth and mouth care, so our Humans are aware all year long. We thought it would be a good topic for today.

Did you know your Humans brush their teeth every day? They know healthy teeth are important to their overall health. IT’S THE SAME WITH OURS!

Why keep our teeth healthy?

A cat is brushing a dogs teeth in front of a bathroom sinkPlaque and tartar build-up is the yellowish, brownish stuff that coats our teeth. If left on your teeth, it leads to tooth decay, damaged gums, sensitive tooth roots, and loss of teeth. OUCH – it can also be very uncomfortable! Not to mention giving us nasty Dog-Breath or Cat-Breath. 

So how do you keep your teeth clean and white – in a word: CHEW! Here are some suggestions:

1. Every day, eat foods or treats that you have to chew. It’s good for teeth and your chewing muscles. Crunchy foods like carrots are a tasty treat for our canine friends. Cat kibble is best for our feline friends.

Mango says, “I teach my outdoor, wild kitties to eat grass once in a while, which is good for their teeth. That doesn’t work for indoor cats though, so it’s important for you to eat crunchy foods.” 

2. Crunchy and chewy treats and toys like cow cheeks, lamb horns, Earth Animal chewies (not rawhide), antlers, and so many more, are also helpful. Cats n Dogs store has a huge variety of these canine treats. For cats, we have special crunchy cat chews. C’mon into the store; we’re sure you can find something you like. 

From Sunshine Kitty, “Oh Oh, Feline Friends, come try the crunchies made by Icelandic! They are puffy treats made with beef collagen and cod skin. And they are SOOOO good. My favorites! I didn’t even know they were good for me too.”

3. Dental chews, and oral care sprays or gels 

4. Brush your teeth daily. A toothpaste made for furry friends with a good taste (and safe to swallow) might be fun for you. A warning here: NEVER USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE! They often contain fluoride, sweeteners and flavors that are harmful to you. 

5. Get your teeth professionally cleaned once a year (or more if your doctor recommends). There are 2 methods: ultrasonic and hand scraping. Buddy & I keep up with no-anesthesia cleaning, which is ultrasonic and easy. The Vet method will put you to sleep and do a much deeper cleaning. They can also pull out any bad teeth and check your mouth for bumps. Some vets have Dental Month (Feb) specials. Now’s a good time to call them for an appointment! 

Brushing your Teeth

By far the best method for good oral care is BRUSHING. Humans like to use doggy or kitty toothbrushes, but there are also easy-to-use finger toothbrushes or just using a clean cloth/gauze. Brush once a day, or at least 3x a week.

Max says, “My mom uses a finger brush on me. To get to my back teeth, I clamp down on a chewy so she can quickly rub. I don’t like my back teeth touched but touching the front teeth doesn’t bother me.”

“Also, since I eat soft foods mostly, my mom uses an oral gel (PetzLife from Cats n Dogs). I’m a 14 year old Silky. They aren’t pearly white anymore, but I still have all my teeth – so I guess she’s doing something right.”

Ideally Furry Friends, cleaning our teeth should really be a habit started when we are youngsters. But if your Human hasn’t done this, there is no time like the present. Just start! Don’t stress about it. Getting your teeth brushed might feel a little weird – but it doesn’t hurt.

Buddy did the research for this to make sure we had all our info correct. He says a really good resource is this AKC blog:

Sunshine Kitty says she isn’t a fan of the toothbrush thing at all. But she does like the *** crunch treats from Cats n Dogs. And so far, her teeth are healthy. Buddy helped her find this website that has some great info:

That’s all for this month Folks! Stay warm and watch for a nice sunbeam to nap in. See you next month

With a Wuf Wuf Wuf and a Meeoow Meeoow,
Taylor, Max, Buddy, Mango & Sunshine Kitty 

Pet comic strips:<br />
1. Cat is saying "Are you kitten me? I swear I flossed yesterday. 2. A tired looking pug dog with the caption "When you realize your detnist knows you don't floss." 3. A overly dramatic child looking at a computer with his mouth open widely and the caption: "When you're scared of your dentist so you Facetime him instead." 4. Cat with a ball of yarn and the caption "Floss like a boss"

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