The Importance of Teeth Cleaning for Dogs and Cats

We can’t express enough how important teeth cleaning is for your pets. They have dental needs just like we do, and are often prone to developing gingivitis, dental disease, and other problems associated with poor oral hygiene. Here at our animal hospital in Jenison, our veterinarians make a point to promote dental care and routine teeth cleanings to increase the quality of life for pets. Unfortunately, because it isn’t easy for pet parents to observe dental problems in their companions, many issues can go untreated.

Long haired dog holding toothbrush at home

Why Dogs and Cats Need to See Their Veterinarian for Regular Dental Checkups

More than half of the tooth is hidden below the gum line, where a majority of dental issues also occur. This means your pet could be developing dental disease without you knowing. Furthermore, dogs and cats generally fail to show any outward signs of pain, and will often continue to eat their food as normal. The only way to determine whether a teeth cleaning is needed is if your veterinarian examines your pet.

Studio shot of a yawning three-year old male Ragdoll cat. Isolated on white.

What Teeth Cleaning Involves for Dogs and Cats

During teeth cleaning procedures at our animal hospital, we take digital X-rays of the entire mouth to check for signs of bone loss, tooth damage, and other telltale characteristics of dental disease. We also check the pockets around the teeth for damage. When cleaning the teeth, we use a scaling tool to remove plaque, tartar, and calculus above and below the gum line. The goal is to perform a deep, thorough cleaning to ensure the complete removal of harmful bacteria.

Products We Recommend for At-Home Dental Care

Our hospital offers and recommends various VOHC-accepted dental products for dogs and cats, which include:

  • Science Diet Oral Care for Dogs
  • Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Diet for Dogs
  • Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews for Dogs
  • Hill's Science Diet Canine Oral Care Chews
  • Petsmile by Supersmile toothpaste
  • Science Diet Oral Care for Cats
  • Royal Canin Feline Dental Diet
  • Feline Greenies Feline Dental Treats
  • Anti-Plaque Daily Topical Wipes for Cats

To see complete lists of all the VOHC-accepted dental products for dogs and cats, click here. These products are of the highest quality and are proven effective for maintaining good oral health in dogs and cats.

Domestic life with pet. Young man gives his cat meat snack.