Small animals, such as rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, and mice, all need to take care of their teeth, but they do not require a tiny toothbrush. Small animals grind their own teeth down using a variety of textures to do so. In nature they forage for food and will use sticks or berry brambles if a little extra trimming is needed.
Certain pet foods are designed to replicate some of this same friction. Adding in these chews is a great way to keep your pet interested in nibbling.
Giving them treats or soft woods to chew on will help maintain a healthy tooth length and strength. Variety is the spice of life, so providing two different surfaces for them to bite on can be a great way to encourage healthy gnawing habits.
Some woods are too hard for small animals and may cause their teeth to break. "Hard" woods include cedar, pine, redwood, birch, and mahogany. Soft woods make up the majority of chews available -- such as apple wood, ash, birch, hawthorn, hazel, or soft maple woods. Things like lava blocks are also soft enough to help keep their teeth trim without causing damage.
It is possible for teeth to overgrow and cause injury to a pet. See a Veterinarian to get them filed down and check on the severity of the wound if that should happen. If your pet's teeth grow at a rate that chews alone will not maintain them, see a vet regularly to keep them at a proper length.
Keeping at least two chewy options available to your pet at all times gives them variety. See what they chew through the fastest and add it to their list of favorites! Rotation keeps them from getting 'bored' and some animals prefer some tastes and textures to others.
February is Pet Dental Health Awareness month, and Pets On Broadway will have a selection of chews on sale! Try out a few options and your furry friend will be munching away their worries in no time.