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Most of us brush our teeth twice a day without even thinking about it. Did you know that your dog’s (and your cat’s) oral health is just as important? In honor of February being Pet Dental Health Month, we bring you four tips for keeping your pet’s chompers in tip-top shape.

1. Brush your Pet's Teeth Daily!

Okay, we understand that for those who have never brushed their pet’s teeth before—or for those with busy lifestyles—that this can be a big adjustment and seem a bit excessive. Brushing your pet’s teeth is important to remove plaque before it builds up. When plaque builds it can cause periodontal disease. If you can’t brush their teeth every day, try to make a goal of once a week and work up in frequency from there.

2.Use Dental Treats.

There are multiple brands and sizes on the market available for both dogs and cats. Dental treats contain ingredients to help minimize bad breath, plaque buildup, and general mouth irritation. By providing these treats, you can help prevent your pet from developing a variety of mouth diseases.

3. Examine your Pet’s Mouth.

Once a week, or before you brush your pet’s teeth, examine their gums and teeth for any abnormalities. Teeth should have no brown build-up and gums should be pink. Look for any red or white coloring in the gums. If you see any of these developments in Fido’s mouth, its best to schedule a check-up with your vet—which brings me to our final tip!

4. Schedule Regular Check-ups for your Pet.

These check-ups are the equivalent of our annual physical. The vet will look over your pet’s general health and take a look at their mouth as well. Veterinarians are well-versed the various conditions that can occur in your canine or feline’s mouth, and determine the best methods to resolve any problems.

By scheduling an annual checkup with your vet, being aware of what to look for in your own weekly exams, and brushing of your pet’s teeth, oral issues that arise can be quickly resolved resulting in lower vet bills, fewer health problems, and an overall healthy and happy pet!  However, vet bills do happen, so consider investing in an active dog health insurance or cat health insurance policy. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.