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Pets Need to Brush Regularly Too

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Bo, the impeccable kitty:  Jessie, I have been meaning to tell you this for quite sometime, but just never had the courage to do so, but, in light of our growing popularity, I felt it was my duty to let you know that I think you need to become more aware of proper oral hygiene.  There!  I said it!

Jessie, the adorable canine:  What on earth do you mean?  I have the most glamorous of smiles.  After all, my pearly canines are my trademark.

Bo:  Perhaps, but I just have never seen you actually brushing your teeth.  Did you know that dogs are at risk for developing plaque and tartar, just like our humans, as a result of dental hygiene that has been neglected?  Tartar can lead to gingivitis, which can become an irreversible periodontal disease, leaking bacteria into the bloodstream potentially causing great damage to internal organs. (Putting paw to forehead in desperation) It just pains me to even think about it.

Jessie: I thought you hated me.  Why all the fuss?

Bo:  Purely for educational purposes, my friend.  I pick on you to inform our audience.  Work with me now.   I do have good news for you, however!  All it takes is some home oral care so plaque build-up can be controlled and reduced before it becomes a major problem.  For starters, use toothpaste sold just for dogs.  As we all know, dogs cannot spit, and we certainly do not want them to ingest this stuff. Your human can clean your teeth by using a regular human toothbrush, a finger brush, or simply a piece of gauze that is wrapped around the finger.  Be sure you allow your human to get into a comfortable position wherein he or she can grasp your muzzle and lift your lips away from the teeth.  Then, let them gently get to work.  It is important to brush along the gum line, as this is the area where bacteria tends to collect.  Make sure your human brushes your teeth in a circular motion, cleaning each tooth with several such motions. Make sure they get the back teeth, too!  When done a couple of times a week, this should be effective in maintaining a clean and healthy mouth for your dog!

Jessie:  I can’t stand you right now, Bo. You are the plaque in my life.

Bo:  Great!  Now your mouth is dirty again!  I told you not to say such filth!  (Running down the hallway, screaming for his human)  Karen!  I have a job for you!

Karen Harrison is the proud owner of two pets with healthy teeth and gums, and she can help you understand proper oral care for YOUR pet.  Contact Karen at the Joy of Living Pet Sitting Services in Kansas City.

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