Read About Small Pet Dental Care

You may be surprised to learn that dental diseases are a common problem for small pets. Here's what you need to know about Small Pet Dental Care.

Unlike human teeth, small animals' teeth are open-rooted. This means that they continually grow throughout the animal's life. This also means that the incessant chewing he does is healthy, normal and even essential. Overgrown teeth are a serious problem that can cause ulcerations and eventually prevent the animal from eating at all.

In addition to a healthy diet, small animals need plenty of other things to chew on. Pet stores sell safe, chemical-free chew sticks and blocks. Your pet is going to chew so make sure he has something appropriate to chew on all the times. Chewing his cage bars can damage his teeth. Healthy, active hamsters wear their teeth down about 3 mm per week. If your pet's teeth are too long you'll need to take him to the vet for a clipping. Here are the symptoms to watch for:

  • Poor appetite: if his teeth are too long, it will make it hard for him to pick up food. The poor little guy may be in some pain too.

  • Favoring soft foods: if he gobbles up the apple bits but little else, he's probably finding it too difficult to eat the harder stuff.

  • Runny nose, teary eyes or drooling: none of these is normal for a small animal, so something's up. Any of these symptoms could indicate overgrown teeth.

    Giving your pet plenty of safe things to chew on is part of keeping him happy and healthy.