By Ashley Watson
Have you recommended regular brushing for a client’s dog or cat, only to find that the pet’s dental hygiene has not improved since the last visit? For some clients, it may be difficult to form a routine brushing habit for their pets, particularly cats (my cat won’t let anyone but my vet near her mouth). Fortunately, there are other ways to help prevent periodontal disease, and it’s important to educate clients about ways to keep their pet’s teeth and gums healthy.
Here are some suggestions you can make for clients with pets who don’t like to brush.
Recommend Pet Tooth Brushing Kits
Many pet owners are not aware of the many options available for animal dental hygiene products. If you don’t carry flavored toothpaste for pets, find a brand that you feel good about recommending. Make sure the client knows where to find the products, including toothbrushes designed for pets. Lastly, offer to demonstrate how to brush their pet’s teeth during the next visit and make sure they are comfortable with brushing their pets teeth before they leave.
Dry Food Formulated for Dental Care
While wet food is typically preferred over dry food for both dogs and cats, some pets need a little dry food in their diet to help clean their teeth. Emphasize to clients that this is not a complete solution, but finding a dry food that has specially designed kibble to scrape off tartar can provide at least some preventive care. They may have to try a few different brands before they find one that their pet will eat.
Recommend Products that Support Dental Health
Recommending products that are designed to support dental health is another option that many pet owners may not be aware of. Vetri-Science® Laboratories offers a complete line of products that are designed for use in between scheduled cleanings to help maintain clean teeth and fresh breath. Perio-Support, along with Perio-Plus Feline Bites and Perio-Plus Stix for Dogs provide support for dog and cat dental health in a hassle-free delivery system.
Send Reminders for Routine Visits
One of the best ways to emphasize the importance of dental care for pets is to send reminders for regular visits and dental cleanings. Be sure to note that checking for periodontal disease is part of a routine check-up for dogs and cats. This also helps remind pet owners that part of maintaining their pets overall wellness includes annual visits, particularly for indoor cats. Offer discounts if they schedule a cleaning within a certain time frame.
Educate Clients about Periodontal Disease
While many people understand that dental hygiene is important for humans, they forget about the dangers of periodontal disease in pets. Educate your clients on the signs and symptoms of tooth decay and gum disease, and recommend different ways to prevent it. Also, be sure to remind them that pets can easily crack a tooth by chewing on bones, certain toys, and other items that are not intended for pets. Keeping pets away from anything that can damage their teeth or that can be a choking hazard is part of being a responsible pet owner. Routine cleanings will help prevent periodontal disease and allow you to check for a cracked tooth or abnormal growths in the mouth.
How do you educate your clients about dental health for pets? We invite you to share your tips with us on our Facebook page!