Is your dog or cat due for dental work? On the day before the appointment, and then just before you go, calmly tell the animal where you are going and what will happen.
You don’t need to use much detail, but do picture it — the ride to the clinic, the staff member greeting you both and taking him back, and the vet giving him something to help him sleep while his teeth are examined and cleaned. If you already know an extraction is needed, tell him how much better it will feel once the tooth that is hurting him is out of there.
In any case, tell him he will feel a little funny when he wakes up, but you’ll be there to take him home and he’ll be back to normal soon. Above all, emphasize how much easier and better it will be to eat his food and chew his toys with a healthy mouth.
The result will likely be a less stressful experience for both of you … and a longer and happier life for the animal.
Dental care doesn’t, and shouldn’t, just happen at the vet’s office. With good instruction and patience, you can get your dog used to regular tooth brushing at home. Again, gently explain to your dog what you’re doing and how it will help her eat and chew with better function and less pain. Watch this three-minute video from Fear Free Happy Homes for tips on how to approach the task.
Ask your vet about procedures, tooth brushing, dental chews, breath freshening and more. There are a lot of pet dental health products out there, so make sure you choose ones that will keep your dog smiling.