Every good dog owner pays a lot of attention to their dog’s health, making sure they’re physically fit and are trained properly. But have you been giving significant attention to your dog’s teeth too?
It is common for dog owners to neglect oral hygiene. For some reason, we are more concerned about whether or not they’re getting the right amount of exercise for dogs or if they’re consuming the right food. But what pet owners don’t know is that if you keep overlooking your pet’s dental needs, it can lead to bacteria buildup and infection—which can mean a lot of trips to the vet. As what they always say, prevention is better than cure. Listed below are tips to help you provide the best dental care for dogs. Like grooming, it is going to be quite the challenge to introduce these methods to your canine companion—and you’ll need a little getting used to as well. But don’t stress and use a patient approach to help you and your pet develop this healthy routine and provide the best dental care for dogs.
Tips and Tricks for Home Dental Care for Dogs
Selecting dog toothpaste
You can ask your veterinarian for the best specially formulated toothpaste brands. Avoid using human toothpaste, as this tends to upset dog’s stomach. To be specific, the chemical component fluoride is known to be extremely poisonous to dogs. Keep in mind that you may have to try different flavors before you find something your dog likes. You’ll have a ton of choices to choose from, though, so don’t worry. Pet stores carry everything from chicken- to peppermint-flavored toothpaste.
Giving your pet chew bones and chew toys
There are a lot of synthetic bones and chew toys that are designed to strengthen the dog’s gums and teeth. But when it comes to dental care for dogs, it is important for you as the owner to make sure first that the toy or anything you let your dog chew is appropriate for their age, since hard objects may cause broken teeth and bleeding. To be safe, don’t forget to read the label before making a purchase.
Chew toys must be paired with regular brushing. Think of it this way: humans can’t rely on gum and mouthwash alone. Brushing helps prevent plaque buildup and keeps breath smelling good. The same logic is applied to animals.
Brushing the dog’s teeth
As mentioned above, brushing your dog’s teeth can be quite the challenge. But once you find a toothpaste flavor that your dog accepts, dab it on the brush and run it along the animal’s teeth. To help them view brushing as a positive experience, give them lots of praise and even a treat afterward. Also, be as gentle as possible when brushing. Make small, gentle circles along the gum line and across those canine chompers.
Using doggy wipes and pads
If you want a quick clean or a switch up in their routine, you can use specially designed doggy dental pads. These are typically sold in pet stores. Alternatively, you can use a simple gauze pad and wrap it around your finger.
Seeking the help of a veterinarian
Regular dental checkups are needed regardless if you brush your dog’s teeth or not. The following symptoms could be a warning sign for serious dental problems:
- Change in eating or chewing habits
- Persistent bad breath
- Brown or yellow tartar buildup along the gum line
- Broken teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Red, swollen, and bleeding gums
Getting professional help
Veterinarians understand your dog’s oral health more than anyone else. Although this could be costly, a professional dental cleaning is the best way to maintain your dog’s dental hygiene and determine any issues with their teeth. In other words, a trip to the vet is well worth the investment if you really want their oral health to be in tip-top shape.