Did you know, 8 out of 10 dogs show signs of dental disease by the age of 3?*

Just like us, our cats and dogs need dental care too. Regularly cleaning your pet’s teeth will help keep them healthy, as well as helping to reduce the need for veterinary treatment, which can be expensive for you and stressful for your pet.

What causes dental problems in cats and dogs?

The main causes of dental problems in cats and dogs are a lack of a regular dental hygiene regime and feeding an inappropriate diet. Dry food encourages mechanical cleaning as your pet chews. Feeding human food or titbits from the table can cause dental problems, as these can get stuck between their teeth.

How can I keep my pet’s teeth healthy?

Like humans, the ‘gold standard’ for keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy is daily tooth brushing. It is important to use a toothbrush and a toothpaste specifically designed for cats and dogs. You should NEVER use human toothpaste; this often contains fluoride which is toxic to animals and can result in serious health problems, and a foaming agent which if swallowed will irritate your pet’s stomach.

The Beaphar Toothbrush is double ended with one big brush head and one small to fit in most pets’ mouths. Beaphar Toothpaste has a tasty liver flavour, and contains enzymes to fight bad bacteria and prevent plaque formation, polishing agents and zinc to strengthen teeth. Also available is the Beaphar Puppy Dental Kit, ideal for pets learning their dental regime, and the Beaphar Finger Toothbrush, which is excellent for introducing your cat or dog to tooth brushing.

How to brush your pet’s teeth

While it is easier to introduce tooth brushing to your pet when they are young, this can still be achieved with older pets. Whatever the age of your cat or dog, you can familiarise them with tooth brushing by following the steps below.

Each step should be introduced slowly. Only move on to the next step once the current step has been achieved. The duration and frequency of each step needs to be built up steadily to avoid teeth cleaning becoming a stressful experience for both you and your pet.

Step 1

Lift your pet’s lips to expose their teeth. Reinforce this by giving them lots of praise.

Step 2

Once your pet is used to having their mouth touched on the outside, start running your finger along their teeth.

Step 3

When they are accustomed to this, introduce them to a small amount of Beaphar Toothpaste. Place some on your finger, allowing them to lick it off. The toothpaste is liver-flavoured and most pets love it.

Step 4

When they are used to the taste and texture of the toothpaste, and having their mouth touched, you can start to introduce a toothbrush. We suggest the Beaphar Finger Toothbrush or if training a puppy, the toothbrush from the Beaphar Puppy Dental Kit. Prepare your chosen toothbrush by wetting the bristles and placing some Beaphar Toothpaste on it.

Step 5

Allow your pet to investigate and lick the delicious liver flavoured toothpaste off the toothbrush. Be sure to give them plenty of praise.

Step 6

When your pet is comfortable with each of the steps, it is time to combine all elements of the training. Start by only brushing a few teeth on this session with the toothbrush, and as your pet becomes more comfortable you can repeat steps 4 and 5 with the full sized Beaphar Toothbrush. Once your pet is happy with this larger toothbrush, you can gradually build up the number of teeth brushed each time until all your pet’s teeth can be cleaned.

What else can I do to keep my pet’s teeth clean?

If tooth brushing is proving particularly tricky or you’d like to give your pet extra dental support, Beaphar offers a range of products where no brushing is required:

  • Beaphar Tooth Gel contains two enzymes to counteract plaque and prevent tartar formation. Simply squeeze the gel along your pet’s gumline and let them spread it around their mouth with their tongue.
  • Beaphar Plaque Away fights bad bacteria and helps reduce the formation of plaque. Just add to your pet’s drinking water daily.
  • Beaphar Fresh Breath Spray contains three enzymes to fight bacteria and breakdown plaque. This helps reduce tartar build up, which reduces the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Easy to use, just 3–4 pumps to your pet’s teeth from 5–10cm away.

All pet-owners love giving their furry friends a treat every so often, so why not give one that has an added benefit?

  • For dogs, try our unique starshaped Beaphar Dental Sticks. Packed with a host of dental disease fighting ingredients such as natural brown seaweed, anti-tartar and antistaining agents, decaffeinated green tea and spirulina. The star shape helps enhance your dog’s natural teeth cleaning processes by physically removing plaque during chewing.
  • Beaphar Dental Easy Treat are delicious treats for cats which have a natural cleaning action when cats chew, helping to remove plaque and tartar.

For more information visit www.beaphar.com

*Royal Veterinary College