Whoosh! Where did January go? The first day of February is now upon us and while many kids across the country will be celebrating St. Brigid’s day, here at Equipet we will be celebrating the start of Pet Dental Care Awareness Month! Teeth are the most valuable part of an animal’s body, as it is the teeth that usually cause the most problems! Taking care of your pet’s teeth is vital to ensuring a happy and long companionship with your chosen friend; be they small and furry or large and lean. Without further delay, let’s begin with the small and furry!

Small Animal Dental Care:

Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Rats and Mice rely on their teeth for much of the labour of eating. All of these animals are herbivores to some extent (Except rabbits and rats, they’re everything-vores) so they rely on their teeth to mulch and grind food down before it reaches their stomachs. However, most of these animals mentioned have one very important dental care aspect; their teeth never stop growing! They constantly need a hard object to wear down the excess bone and stop them from puncturing their jaws (Gross, and painful!). Rabbits naturally do this in the wild but in domesticated environments they will require some kind of grinding toy or object like the Gnawing Stone with Croquettes or even hay! This will help keep their teeth at an acceptable length and prevent discomfort and pain, while also enabling them to happily munch away till their heart's content! Regularly check your small animal’s teeth and mouth for signs of growth, infection or swelling and if anything unusual appears bring them to your vet immediately.

Dental Care for Birds:

Pet DentalBut birds don’t have teeth, Aidan? True, they have beaks, which act like their teeth. Much like how rabbits and hamsters need gnawing stones to wear their teeth down, a bird needs a pumice stone or shell in order to properly maintain its beak! In relation to this, I remember watching an episode of Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet one night; A lady had brought her parrot in because its beak had grown out of control as she had been feeding it soft food only and it could no longer pick up food. Dr. Jeff had to gently sand down the bird's beak and put it on a strict diet of nuts, though before long the parrot was back to normal health (go Dr. Jeff!). Feed your bird a balanced diet of nuts and hard foods and always provide it with a shell or pumice stone with which to gnaw on, this is essentially the only dental care for birds!

Dental Care for Cats:

Pet DentalA snowball has a better chance in Hell than you getting a chance to peek at your cat's teeth. As much as your cat might loathe you for being near her mouth, it is very important! Your cat uses her fangs for a variety of important tasks such as satisfying her prey drive, hunting and subduing threats to your home, and biting the hand that feeds (Gently and with love). If possible you should try and brush your cat’s teeth. If this is not possible don’t worry, most premium cat feeds are specially formulated chelated kibbles which ensure that your cat is getting all of the dental care she could ever need, just by eating! Much like toys and treats for small animals, cat toys can also have a secondary use by being able to reach in-between teeth and remove plaque and tartar. Help keep their fangs sharp as tacks and your cat will love you forever! As with all things, regularly check your cat’s mouth for signs of infection and disease and always bring your cat to the vet if you are unsure of anything. Some key things to look out for: Swelling or Asymmetry in your cat's face, sleeping in a different part of the house, bad breath and changes in how your cat eats.

Dental Care for Dogs:

Pet DentalWhere do we even begin with dogs? The biggest Jesters of all animals, staying vigilant over your dog’s dental health can be a difficult task! A dog’s mouth is the biggest indicator of the animal's overall well-being, because if a dog isn’t eating you know something is definitely wrong! Caring for your dog’s teeth is somewhat easier than caring for any other animal’s teeth as dogs are more open to the idea of you being in and around their mouth. Because of this, you may be able to use a brush and toothpaste, depending on his temperament of course. This enables you to better reach the places that his dry food or favourite toy may not be able to, while also giving you the perfect excuse to have a good look around his gums. If this isn’t possible for whatever reason, a quality dry food like any of the ones we stock in store is more than ideal for keeping your dogs dental care under control while we also stock specialty toys and treats for Canine Oral care such as the Whimzee's Rice Treats, Nylabone Dog Toy range, K9 Connectables and other dental toys and treats. One of the best things in-store for both cats and dogs is our Tropiclean range of dental care! Even Leader have released some new oral care products for your dog's dental health!

Dental supplements are another way to go if you feel that his food or toys aren’t doing enough for him. We stock a huge selection of any supplement you could ever need; especially dental care products for both cats and dogs, though unfortunately our smaller friends are left out! As always, if you feel unsure about anything you can always ask our staff or, better still, visit your trusted vet. The welfare of your pet is paramount and we take every pet’s health very seriously!

Signing off on Pet Dental Care:

While raising the awareness of dental hygiene for the month of February is our main goal, you will find many offers, both online and in-store for dental products for all animals! Now is the perfect time to buy those Rice Treats you’ve had your eye on, or some beef flavoured toothpaste for your best four-legged friend, or even a gnawing stick for your little floof-ball!

We’ll be back again in a week’s time for our Valentine’s Guide! Bye for now Pet-Pals!