In addition to American Heart Month, February is also Pet Dental Health Month! Just like you, pets need regular dental checkups and cleanings, but there’s a lot you can do at home to ensure your cat and dog’s pearly whites (and gums) stay healthy.

Brushing your pet’s teeth frequently is one of the easiest and best ways to practice good dental hygiene. Daily brushing is recommended for both cats and dogs, but as often as you can manage is fine. Choose an extra-soft toothbrush, finger brush or gauze, and gently brush in a circular motion all along the outside and inside of your pet’s mouth. As your pet gets used to it, add Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved toothpaste and dental products.

If during your brushing sessions you notice any inflammation, bleeding, swelling, pus, broken teeth or discomfort, call your veterinarian right away. Infection can set in quickly, so a swift response can make the difference between a mild case and a mouthful of trouble.

With proper at-home care, combined with routine wellness checkups and regular dental cleanings with the team at Westfield Veterinary Group, your pet’s mouth will be in good hands.