You love your dog, and you care about their health. You routinely take them on walks, you ensure they eat quality food and treats, although, oftentimes it isn’t until a vet-check-up that you realize you may have forgotten about their dental health. So, how should we as pet-pawrents make sure our pups’ teeth stay clean and healthy? Here are 3 genius ways to improve your dog’s dental health:
1. Tackling Teeth with Treats
It’s wise to start a dental care routine early while your dog is still a puppy and more open to the idea of having hands poking around in their mouth. However, not every dog starts their journey in their forever home as a young pup, so transitioning into this routine is not always easy. That is okay! Practice patience and positive reinforcement.
Puppies and dogs often respond well to training treats, so use this to your advantage. It is best if you are able to brush your dog’s teeth daily, although if this becomes a struggle, every other day, or at least 3 times a week is better than not at all. If your pup becomes irritable, you can aim to brush a portion of their teeth one day and the other half the following day.
2. Using a Remarkably Convenient Toothbrush
It’s important to choose a toothbrush that is the right size and fit for your dog. A toothbrush that will work for a Chihuahua will likely not work for a Great Dane. If you have more than one pup, make sure they each have their own toothbrush.
Owners should look for angled, soft-bristled toothbrushes that can reach those hard to reach places. Dual-headed brushes work great to clean different areas of the mouth and teeth. Pet Rebuplique’s Dual Toothbrush is highly recommended. Finger brushes, which fit around your finger, may seem like the most convenient option, although, some dogs may find this extra-annoying and unintentionally chomp down on your finger or hand.
When it comes to toothpaste, first and foremost, do NOT use human toothpaste. Many human toothpastes include the ingredient xylitol which is toxic for your pup and, if ingested, can have serious effects including seizures. The American Kennel Club recommends Virbac C.E.T Enzymatic Toothpaste which thoroughly cleans your pup’s teeth, freshens breath, and discourages plaque build-up.
3. Chewing on Cotton or Hemp
When considering a dental toy for your dog, you should again take into account your dog’s size, and whether they are a chewer. Toys or bones that consist of a material that is harder than your dog’s teeth may have the potential to crack their teeth. Instead, consider products or toys that are made from highly quality cotton or hemp, which mimic flossing and are gentle on gums, or toys made from all-natural rubber such as the LOVATIC Dog Chew Toothbrush or the Benebone Real Flavor Dental Dog Chew Toy. As always, keep an eye on your pup when they are chewing on a toy or treat.
Dental Disease in Dogs
Over 80% of dogs over the age of three have active dental disease according to the Veterinary Centers of America. Even if your pup is in pain, they will likely continue to act normally, and it is not until the problem has advanced that the signs become apparent. If your pup experiences red or bleeding gums, bad breath, or bloody saliva, these may be early signs of dental issues.
While teeth-brushing may initially be uncomfortable for both pup and pawrent, after continuous and consistent effort, it should become a part of your natural routine.