Do not neglect dental care: Talk to clients about brushing their pets teeth.

Clients need to brush their pets teeth to prevent dental disease and other illnesses.
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Feb 01, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

Pet owners may dismiss doggy-breath, but you know better. Bad breath is just one of the subtle signs of dental disease that clients overlook. And they'll continue to miss the signs unless you say something. February is National Pet Dental Health month, so now is the perfect time to start telling clients about the importance of routine dental care. Daily brushing—while perhaps initially daunting—is essential to an animal's overall health. Open their pets' mouths and make clients say, "Ah ha!"

You: Take a look at Jasper's mouth. Do you see how his gums are red and a little swollen? And do you smell that odor? It's all caused by the plaque buildup on Jasper's teeth. Jasper's mouth is bad enough at this point that the doctor is probably going to recommend a dental cleaning. After Jasper's teeth are clean, the best way to maintain a healthy mouth is with daily brushing. How often do you brush his teeth?

Client: I don't. I try, but he doesn't like it.

You: I know it's difficult at first, but it gets easier the more you do it. Jasper may resist brushing because it's a strange, new experience for him. Be patient. You may need to try a few times a day to brush his teeth until he lets you do it daily without a fuss.

Client: But I don't have the time to brush his teeth every day.

You: Dental care isn't something to ignore. Dental disease is painful and costly and can cause gum and lip ulcerations, receding gums and root exposure, an infected mouth, and tooth loss. It can even lead to kidney, heart, and blood infections. But regular dental cleanings and daily brushing can help prevent all of this. Once Jasper is used to brushing, it won't take long at all. Why don't you show me how you've tried to brush his teeth before, and I can give you some tips to help you and Jasper.