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At Home Dental Care for Pets

Brushing your pet’s teeth at home doesn’t need to be a major undertaking. With a little practice, you can help fight back tartar that leads to serious gum conditions, root exposure and tooth loss.Puppies: 28 baby teeth.Adult dogs: 42 permanent teeth.Kittens: 26 baby teeth.Adult cats: 30 permanent teeth.Fun fact: Puppies and kittens generally lose their baby teeth between 4 and 6 months.What you will need to get started:

  • Pet toothbrush
  • Pet-specific toothpaste

Important: Never use human toothpaste on your pets. Many brands contain ingredients that are unhealthy for pets, such as:

  • Fluoride (causes vomiting and nausea)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (causes vomiting and nausea)
  • Xylitol (toxic for dogs and cats)

How to brush a pet’s teethStep 1: Lift the upper lip and angle the brush along the gum line at a 45 degree angle.Step 2: Use a circular motion to clean the outside of the teeth, spending about 30 seconds on each quadrant.Step 3: If your pet is cooperative, brush the insides of the teeth with a similar motion.Step 4: Reward your pet for a job well done! Be sure to offer lots of treats and praise.

Get regular checkups with a professionalJust like people, pets should get a dental checkup one to two times a year. Your vet can perform an oral exam of overall tooth and gum health and do a more thorough cleaning than you can at home.Regular exams and professional cleanings help to prevent plaque and tartar build-up that can lead to serious gum disease, bone destruction and tooth loss.

  • Average cost of a routine cleaning: $382**
  • Average cost of pet dental disease surgery: $1,037 dog / $986 cat**

Pet health insurance is a great way to stay ready for anything. Call Klinger Insurance Group at 301-428-4939 or visit to learn more about Nationwide pet insurance or to get a free, no-obligation quote today.