Although good mouth care is essential to maintaining your pooch’s health, the good news is that dogs are not as prone to cavities as human beings are yet despite the old conventional wisdom that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans however dogs can still develop problems like tartar and plaque build up and gingivitis which can lead to impacted gums, abscesses, infections and worse. So it’s not just bad breath and yellow teeth you have to worry about: if these canine dental problems are left untreated they can actually lead to life-threatening infections and issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease.
Whilst your dog might not welcome the tooth brushing at first, there are things you can do to make it a reasonably pleasant experience for both you and your canine friend. So we’ve come up with a few pointers to help maintain your dog’s teeth and mouth health at home:
Start early, start brushing with your puppy.
Grown dogs can learn to become comfortable with dog teeth cleaning, but make things easier for yourself by working with your dog as a puppy.
Pick the right toothpaste.
This is very important. Do NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at most good pet stores.
Dry food is better than soft, wet food.
If the tooth brushing ends in blood, sweat, or tears, there are still choices you can make to help improve your dog’s oral health. Crunchy kibble is better for your dog’s teeth than soft food, as soft food is more likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay. However a purely dry food diet is bad for your dogs digestion, mix it up!
Use chew bones or toys for dental health.
There are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on. Hard objects can cause broken teeth. Whilst giving your dog a good bone to chew on can help get rid of build up and keep teeth strong, imagine a human who only chewed gum and used mouth wash. Not exactly what we would call an effective dental regime. The same is true for your dog.
Some further recommendations are to try and choose a time when your dog has had a decent amount of exercise, so they’re more inclined to sit still for the procedure. Don’t go crazy on the first few times. Start slowly and quit if your dog gets agitated, even if you don’t brush the whole mouth. You can increase the time every day as he gets used to it. You should also make sure to speak soothingly and pleasantly during the brushing and reward your dog with a treat afterwards. Before too long, your dog should start looking forward to the event and you can look forward to those in your face moments again.