If your dog has bad breath, that’s a sign their oral hygiene is being overlooked. But as dogs do eat some revolting stuff at times, we tend to think their teeth don’t need as much care as our own. However, the American Veterinary Dental College has estimated that most dogs have clear symptoms of periodontal disease as young as 3 years of age. Yet like humans, the health of a dog’s teeth plays a vital part in avoiding bacterial infections that can damage their heart or whole system.
Fortunately, it’s easy to care for your dog’s teeth at home and regular tooth cleaning will be repaid by your pet’s continued good health and fewer veterinary bills. You don’t need to brush a dog’s teeth every day, but the more you clean them, the healthier your dog will be.
1) Train your dog for tooth-brushing
First of all, you’ll need to buy specially formulated dog toothpaste and a dog toothbrush. Never use human tooth-paste as it contains ingredients that are poisonous to dogs. Set aside a little time to do some training to teach your dog not to be afraid of teeth cleaning. First of all, get your dog to sit still when you hold the toothbrush near his face. And give treat when he does this.
Take a few days to move from just touching the teeth for a second or two with the brush, to adding toothpaste. Let your dog sniff and taste the toothpaste. If you practise each step several times, you should overcome your dog’s anxiety about having his teeth brushed. Dogs just need training to know what you expect from them. And with a little patience, you can ease your pet into accepting tooth-brushing as a normal part of life.
2) Dog teeth-wipes
Dog tooth-wipes are a great way to clean your pet’s teeth between brushing. They contain ingredients that are just as good as dog toothpaste for breaking down plaque. However, you can’t get into all the spaces between and behind the dog’s teeth. So tooth-wipes are not a replacement for brushing regularly.
3) Dental dog-treats for puppies
Dental dog-treats are a super way to reward your dog during training and help clean their teeth at the same time! Designed in conjunction with vet dental experts, they are intended for use with puppies. If you have a pup, this is an excellent way to keep their teeth healthy right from the start. Tasty dental dog-treats remove plaque and tartar, and keep the gums in good condition. So your dog will never have the bad-breath that’s a signal of bad oral hygiene!
4) Bully sticks and chew-toys
Bully-sticks and cow-ears contain natural enzymes that help keep your dog’s teeth clean, but use them carefully as they do add calories to a dog’s daily diet.
Dental treats have cleaning ingredients that work when the dog chews them. But gnawing and chewing on toys made of rubber or nylon, also help to break-down plaque deposits so they are removed naturally.
5) Get vet dentist check-ups
Start your new tooth-brushing regime with a visit to a veterinary dentist. They will be able to identify any oral health problems and treat them before they damage your dog’s general health. And a professional clean will help you maintain your dog’s teeth-cleaning to the correct level. Finally, seeing a vet dentist will allow you to discuss your dog’s oral health and get answers to all your doubts and queries.