If your pet hides at the mere sight of you taking out its designated toothbrush, it can be a discouraging sight to see. You’ve already tried slowly introducing flavored toothpaste and a variety of brushes, but your furry pal still scampered away. Brushing your pet’s teeth might seem like a lost cause at this point, but fret not, as you still have other options you can try to support your pet’s dental health.

#1: Food and water additives

Liquid additives for water can help reduce the bacterial load in your pet’s mouth, which is the leading cause of dental disease. Food additives are generally in powder form, and their enzymes gently scrub away plaque. Both additives can help reduce bad breath, plaque, and tartar accumulation.

#2: Dental treats and chews

If your pet turns up their nose at toothbrushing, entice them with treats and chews. Search for dental products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), as these have demonstrated their ability to slow plaque and tartar accumulation. When searching for the perfect chew for your pet, avoid items that are too hard since they can lead to tooth fractures. Leave antlers, hooves, and bones on the shelf, and choose special dental care treats instead. 

#3: Prescription dental diets

If your four-legged friend eats regular adult pet food, consider switching to a prescription dental diet. The kibble in these diets is generally larger, with an airy, fibrous texture that breaks up easily so that the kibble edges scrub away plaque and tartar.

These three methods don’t require you to stick your hand inside your pet’s mouth, so give these at-home dental care options a try. However, since toothbrushing is considered the gold standard of at-home dental care for pets, we recommend you continue to try acclimating your pet to brushing their teeth so you can combine the above methods for maximum efficacy.

Coupled with at-home dental care, make sure to also stay on top of your furry pal’s oral health care with regular professional dental cleaning and exams. Find your nearest Bark Avenue Animal Hospital location and schedule a dental appointment for your pet.

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