When it comes to caring for your dog, it’s easy to forget about her teeth. It’s also easy to want to skip tooth brushing if you have a wrestling match with your dog every time you try to brush her teeth. It may not always be easy, but dog oral care is just as important as bathing your dog or taking her to the vet for checkups. We understand how difficult it can be to keep your dog’s teeth clean, so we’ve put together this list of tips to help you take the best care of your dog’s teeth.
Dog Oral Care: How to keep your dog’s teeth healthy
All too often our canine companions greet us with foul breath odor which we lovingly call ‘doggy breath.’ Referred to by veterinarians as generalized periodontitis, this foul breath odor is more often than not ignored by dog owners and is frequently a precursor to a much more harmful cycle of oral disease.
Keeping close tabs on oral hygiene and practicing preventative maintenance when problems are minor will have immeasurable benefits for a dog’s long-term health. Here are 6 tips to practice proper dog oral care:
1. Feed your dog a meat-based dog food that is well-balanced and rich in nutrients
Meat contains naturally occurring enzymes that help protect teeth and gums from bacteria and plaque. For more info on a healthy diet for dogs, check out our blog post on choosing the best food for your dog.
2. Understand what a healthy mouth looks like
It’s important to know the differences in appearance between what is healthy and what is unhealthy in order to recognize oral pathology in your dog when it is still minor and to take the appropriate steps to treat it. A healthy dog’s teeth will be free of plaque and tartar, with all 42 teeth intact, straight, and undamaged.
3. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly
A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry concluded that “daily tooth-brushing should be the recommendation to dog owners irrespective of dietary regimen.” It is crucial that you use toothpaste specially formulated for dogs as toothpaste for humans contains toxins and other ingredients that are harmful to pets. Using a canine toothbrush or a brush that fits over your finger can also assist in properly brushing your dog’s teeth.
4. Dog dental treats can help keep your dog’s mouth clean and prevent disease
Dental treats are designed to remove plaque and can even help freshen your dog’s breath. It doesn’t hurt that dogs love treats, and we can be sure that your dog will appreciate dental treats as much as you appreciate the benefits to their oral hygiene. The positive effects of dental treats on oral hygiene are further compounded when combined with daily tooth-brushing.
5. Dog chews are an effective method of fighting oral pathology in dogs
When dogs gnaw on dog chews, they scrape off layers of plaque that have built up on their teeth. Dog chews made of meat have the added benefit of introducing natural enzymes to the mouth which protect against bacteria and plaque. When trying to find the perfect chew for dog oral care, look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s Seal of Acceptance. Chews with this seal are proven to help control tartar buildup in dogs. Rubber or nylon chew toys can also be effective methods of plaque removal as well, especially if your dog is on a calorie-restricted diet.
6. Get a professional cleaning done by a Veterinarian
Veterinarians are highly experienced and expertly trained to know what is best for dog oral care. Vets are equipped to handle any issues that they come across when examining your dog’s mouth and will be able to recognize and address issues that would be glossed over during inspections by even the most dedicated dog owners.
Need Help With Dog Oral Care? Come to Fon Jon Pet Care for Dog Grooming
Your dog relies on you to know what is best for their health and how to prevent issues like general periodontitis and beyond. Use these tips to ensure that your dog gets the oral care that she deserves. Remember that you can always refer to your vet if you discover issues with your dog’s mouth that require treatment and care that is beyond your capabilities.
In addition to this, our dog grooming services also include teeth brushing for dog oral care. If you could use some help brushing your dog’s teeth, or simply want to include it with her grooming, add it to your dog’s grooming package when you bring her to Fon Jon Pet Care!
Fon Jon Pet Care is a full-service dog daycare and dog boarding facility located in San Diego. We offer training classes, in-lodge training, pet bathing and more. Call us today at (858) 490-2117 or contact us online to learn more about our services.