Your dog’s teeth are just as important when it comes to keeping your dog in good health as any other part of their body. If they are neglected, you will probably not just notice some pretty gnarly doggie breath, but your dog’s teeth can turn into some real dental nightmares. As bad as either of this issues can be, real health issues can emerge from bad dental care, that can put his life at risk for a lifetime of problems and big financial expenses. It’s a good idea to start taking care of your pup’s teeth when they are young, or if you haven’t started, there’s no time like the present. Here are five important tips for your dog’s teeth to help keep them healthy and working good throughout his life.
1. Start your dental regimen
Create a regular dental regimen for your dog’s teeth. Brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis is the biggest part of his dental care plan. Most veterinarians recommend a daily brush, but if you just can’t find the time to do it daily, set a once-a-week plan to spend quality time brushing his teeth. Once a week will keep your dog’s teeth in satisfactory condition, and especially if you do a thorough job each time. Never use a human toothbrush on your dog’s teeth. You can find toothbrushes made for dogs at pet stores, and you will want to choose one that is comfortable for his mouth. The same goes for toothpaste. Human toothpaste is dangerous for pets, so while you are picking out his toothbrush at the pet store, choose a toothpaste that is meant for dogs. While you’re brushing his teeth, take a good look around his mouth and look for any debris that could be caught in the teeth and around the gums. Chewing on sticks, pieces of a broken rubber toy, food, or anything they put in their mouths can get caught. Look for signs of dental decay or problems with the gums. A thorough check during each brushing session can help to catch issues sooner.
2. Have regular dental check-ups and cleanings
Like a physical exam, regular dental exams are important too. It is a good idea to include regular dental checks in your dog’s health and wellness care. Your vet can do a full dental check on your dog and if he thinks he needs a professional cleaning, he will let you know. These are typically done once a year and do require your dog be put under general anesthesia, but they are worth time and expense to help remove any plaque and bacteria that builds up under the gums. Your vet will explain the procedure to you so you don’t feel nervous about your dog being put under anesthesia.
3. Invest in dental chew toys
You might not want your pup chewing on your personal belongings, like furniture and shoes, but he needs to chew. Chewing is a natural instinct dogs have, but it also has health and dental benefits. When your dog chews on bones and rubber chew toys, it helps increase the blood flow to the gums for healthier gums, as well as it helps to remove plaque and tartar build-up. It also strengthens the teeth and jaw. Find toys, bones, and rope that are geared toward dental care and get your dog chewing.
4. Get him on a proper diet
Not all dog foods are made the same, and many on the market today are cheap and not as nutritious as others. You can talk to your vet about the best food and diet for your particular breed, and your dog’s age, but you want food that doesn’t crumble easily, as these types of food do not help to clear away tarter and bacteria as other foods. You want a dog food that is nutritionally balanced to give him strong bones and teeth, which a lot of store brands are not. Too much wet dog food can stick to your dog’s teeth and start to decay the teeth, so if you want to give your dog more meat in his diet, try cooking fresh turkey, chicken and other fresh foods yourself. It’s not only better for them, but they will love you for it!
5. Healthy dental treats for snacks
There are a lot of good dental treats on the market now that will help promote your dog’s dental health, and they’re tasty too. Between meals, give your dog a treat that is specifically designed to help remove tartar and bacteria from your dog’s teeth and promote over all, good dental health. Treats that have the VOHC seal are ones that have been tested and approved for dental health in dogs. If you’re going to treat your dog, why not help your dog’s dental care while you’re at it?