Dental Health

Looking after your pet’s oral health is vital to their overall wellbeing. All pets should receive regular health checks from a veterinary professional who will assess their dental health.

Managing your pet’s teeth and gums is just another part of being a purrfect pet owner. Here are the basics of pet dental care.

Oral disease in dogs, cats and horses

Oral disease starts with a buildup of bacteria causing plaque. As a bacterium grows in the plaque it turns to tartar, eating away at the surface of your pet’s teeth and causing cavities, gum disease, tooth loss and other health conditions. The right dental hygiene plan can prevent and remove tartar, keeping your pet’s mouth healthy.


Your dog’s mouth is full of bacteria, so you’ll need a dental hygiene plan. Use positive reinforcement techniques to train your dog to allow teeth brushing and keep their smile in tip top shape. Specially designed chew toys and dental treats can also help manage your dog’s dental hygiene. Talk to your vet at your next checkup.

Aggressive chewing on hard objects is a primary cause of broken teeth in dogs. Protect your pooch from anything that could cause harm and visit your vet if you spot a broken tooth.


Your cat needs help when it comes to dental hygiene. They may put up a fight at first, but brushing your cat’s teeth can help prevent oral problems in future. Take advice from your vet about kitty toothbrushes, toothpaste and other products such as mouthwash and dental gel. The right diet and dental treats can also go a long way to keeping your cat’s mouth healthy.

Oral health will be part of your cat’s regular health checkup, but if you see any signs of problems in your cat’s mouth make an appointment with your vet.


Horses have incisors at the front to tear vegetation and molars at the back that grind food into a digestible size before swallowing. Horse teeth need to be checked regularly by an equine specialist.

Taking care of your horse’s teeth is part of maintaining their general health, but also has advantages for you. Your horse is less likely to fuss on their bit and will respond to riders more readily with a set of healthy pearly whites.


Rodents are always gnawing away, so to compensate for the constant wear their razor sharp incisors continuously grow. Always provide a variety of gnawsome toys to wear down those teeth, and give your rodent a healthy, balanced diet to help maintain good dental health.


Birds don’t have teeth and gums to take care of, but their beaks still need attention. A cuttlefish bone usually does the trick, enabling your bird to keep its beak in top condition. If your bird isn’t trimming it’s own beak they could have difficulty eating and manipulating objects, so it’s off to the vet.

If you suspect your pet may be suffering from poor dental hygiene, make an appointment at one of the RSPCA Victoria clinics.

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