Dogs use their teeth to play and bite on their toys. Dogs use their teeth to establish dominance among other dogs. Dogs also use their teeth to chew their food. However, despite the importance of a dog’s teeth, a dog’s oral hygiene tends to be overlooked by most furparents. Many pet parents assume bad breath is normal for dogs. While your dog’s breath isn’t supposed to be minty fresh like a human’s, dog breath shouldn’t stink with a pungent stench either.
Aside from having bad breath, a dog that suddenly changes its eating behavior can be a cause for concern. If they go from excitedly munching on treats in customizable stainless steel dog bowls to refusing to eat altogether, this may be a sign that they experience difficulty in chewing as a result of problems with their teeth.
To prevent your furbaby from getting oral problems, keep your pet’s teeth clean. Keeping teeth clean can prevent tartar and plaque from building up around your dog’s teeth, which can cause inflammation in your dog’s gums and lead to tooth decay.
Below are three tips you can follow so you can start cleaning your dog’s teeth.
Brush Your Pet’s Teeth Daily
Vets recommend brushing your dog’s teeth daily. Food, bacteria, and plaque take 48 to 72 hours before they harden around your dog’s teeth. Brushing your dog’s teeth every night can help prevent plaque from building up. If a daily brush isn’t convenient for you, do it every other day so that you’re still within the timeframe before plaque can harden.
To help you regularly clean your dog’s teeth, you’ll need four things:
Dog Toothbrush – Dog toothbrushes are the best when it comes to cleaning your pet’s teeth. The bristles on the brush can reach the crevices where plaque can collect.
Dog Toothpaste – Always remember to use dog toothpaste. Aside from being tasty to dogs, dog toothpaste is safe to be swallowed. Meanwhile, human toothpaste is harmful to dogs. Avoid using human toothpaste as an alternative no matter what.
Finger Toothbrush – If you’re just beginning to brush your pet’s teeth, finger toothbrushes are recommended to help you train your pet to get used to brushing their teeth. Unlike dog toothbrushes, finger toothbrushes have fatter bristles that prevent them from giving your dog’s teeth a deeper clean so when your dog gets more used to brushing, it’s a good idea to switch to using an actual toothbrush.
Dental Wipes – Much like finger toothbrushes, dental wipes are good for training your pet to get used to regular teeth cleaning. Use the wipe to remove surface dirt from your dog’s teeth while introducing a dog toothbrush.
Add Various Dental Products to Your Pet’s Routine
Aside from regularly cleaning your dog’s teeth, utilize other dental products to guarantee that you can maintain your pooch’s overall oral hygiene.
Some of the products you can introduce to their routine are:
Water Additive – A dental water additive works much like a mouthwash by cleaning the inside of your dog’s mouth as they drink the additive with their water.
Food Additive – Dog food dental additives can come in the form of kibble or a powder you can mix with your dog’s food. It scrapes off plaque and lessens the staining of your dog’s teeth.
Dental Treats – Dental treats are made to inhibit plaque buildup. Dogs can enjoy them just like normal treats, and they contain ingredients that can freshen a dog’s mouth or reduce bad odor. If your dog loves treats, dental treats can be a quick and easy way to remove some surface plaque.
Dog Chews and Chew Toys – The movement of your dog’s teeth as they chew scrapes off some of the plaque around their teeth. Regardless of what they’re chewing, plaque will come off, although not as deeply. Dog chews made from all-natural meats have ingredients that can be beneficial for your dog’s oral hygiene. Chew toys can also encourage your dog to gnaw while the movement and material of the toy remove some plaque. Make sure to include these types of toys in your dog’s toy
While these dental products are great to add to your dog’s daily routine, dental products are not alternatives to brushing your dog’s teeth. Use these dental products alongside toothbrushing, so you can be sure that your dog can maintain good oral hygiene.
Get a Professional Vet Cleaning Annually
Home remedies are good, but nothing can beat professional vet teeth cleaning. While they are more expensive, vet cleanings are much more thorough than at-home-toothbrushing. Through vet cleanings, you can also determine if your furbaby has other dental diseases that you wouldn’t necessarily notice with regular toothbrushing.
If you brush your dog’s teeth daily, an annual visit to the vet for dental cleaning and check-ups can be enough. If your dog already has dental disease, or you’re not as thorough with your pooch’s oral hygiene, a few more visits might be required.
Pay attention to your dog’s teeth health as much as possible, as dogs can hide their pain extremely well. Don’t wait until your dog gets a dental disease to start cleaning their teeth regularly. Instead, keep them eating well and happily munching on their treats by following the tips above.