A healthy animal dental care routine supports the prevention of oral diseases such as the inflammation of the gums and tooth loss, as well as health issues related to the kidneys and heart should the toxins spread from the mouth to the body.

As a responsible pet owner, continue reading this guide on dental diseases, treatments, and how to maintain good oral health and hygiene overall.

What is dental disease?

Oral health problems usually start with a build-up of plaque on the tooth surface. If the plaque is left untreated, it hardens to form tartar. This traps bacteria and, over time, leads to gingivitis – a condition of inflamed gums – which leads to tooth damage and eventually tooth loss. It is shown via research studies that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease by three years of age. So, it is fundamental that a healthy dental routine is established from a young age.

What are some signs and symptoms of dental disease?

  • The bleeding of gums
  • A change in eating or chewing habits
  • Tooth loss
  • Painful sensation when eating
  • Drooling saliva
  • Bad breath

What does a healthy dental routine for your pet include?

Regular and thorough tooth brushing

Tooth-brushing removes the build-up of plaque on the tooth surface each day. The earlier in life you start tooth brushing, the easier it will be to teach young animals what it means to have their teeth brushed. We recommend and sell toothpaste designed for pets as toothpaste for humans may contain ingredients that are toxic and harmful to your pets. We also recommend finger toothbrushes that fit over your fingertip to make it safer for both you and your pets while tooth brushing. Don’t forget to reward your pets’ behaviour through a small walk or game at the end.

A healthy diet

The food you offer your pet is crucial in maintaining good dental health. You should try to provide a diet of 80%-100% dry food. We recommend and sell Hills Dental Food – a combination of Hills t/d Kibble and Hills Adult Dry.

Delicious treats

You should choose treats that help the breakdown and prevent the build-up of plaque on the tooth surface. We recommend and sell OraVet Chews which combat the starting point of plaque and calculus.


Through chewing, soft items such as the Kong rubber toys promote gingival health.

Professional tooth cleaning

A scale and polish procedure will remove the build-up of tartar by cleaning the teeth, preventing gum disease and tooth decay. In addition to this, your veterinarian is experienced in locating and treating any issues that you may not notice – even as an extremely dedicated pet owner.

At Illawarra Animal Hospital, we offer regular check-ups, x-rays, scale and polish treatments, and extractions. We will also be running a promo now till 30th of April offering $100 OFF dental procedures!

For more guidance and advice on a healthy dental routine or complete health and dental check-up, feel free to contact our friendly and experienced team on 4257-3322 (Yallah) or 4213-9333 (Figtree).