VCA Hawaii on the importance of dental hygiene maintenance

HI Now host Rachel Pacarro speaks with VCA Hawaii about the importance of maintaining your pets oral health!

Sponsored by VCA Hawaii

Dr. Zach Houghtaling of VCA Hawaii recommends getting your pets teeth professionally cleaned once a year. You should periodically check your animals back teeth for redness around the gums and tartar build up. Research has shown that it’s difficult to get a complete cleaning unless anesthesia is used. Most dental diseases hide under the gumline and will quickly return unless taken care of. Professional dental cleaning is important because the animal can be put under anesthesia in a safe and controlled environment.

Oral x-rays are also key to keeping your pet healthy and happy. “For one, we can assess if there’s disease. And two, we can get a base line to compare in following dentals to see if there’s any progression of that disease,” says Dr. Houghtaling. The gold standard is to brush your pets’ teeth daily, but even occasional brushing is helpful. Always use pet friendly toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush. If you cannot brush their teeth, use products like dental treats or prescription dental foods with the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal (VOHC). This seal proves that the product prevents progression of dental diseases.

VCA Hawaii has a program called Care Club that allows people to spread the payments out for veterinary visits. It’s a monthly subscription-based plan that covers blood work, preventative tests like heartworm screenings, and vaccines. If you are interested, please visit for more information.