We all love our dogs and want to keep them happy and healthy, but a surprising number of dog owners are unaware that understanding the basics of dog dental hygiene can help prevent infections and diseases related to a dog’s heart, liver, and kidneys1. In other words, a good look into your dog’s mouth can provide insight into their overall health!
If, while looking at your dog’s teeth and gums, you observe any of the following, you need to make an appointment with your dog’s vet: bad breath, red swollen gums, brown tartar, loose teeth, misaligned or missing teeth, or lumps on the gums.
Dog Dental Hygiene: The 3 Most Important Things You Should Do
1. Brush -While your dog might resist at first, training them to sit and have their teeth brushed several times per week is critical for their health. Use a toothbrush made for canines or gauze wrapped around your finger. Do not use human toothpaste, use a special canine toothpaste or make a paste with baking soda and water. Insert the brush or your finger between your dog’s teeth and gums (at a 45 degree angle) and make small, gentle, circular motions.
2. Chew -When dogs chews on rawhide, hard rubber, or nylon chew toys, they are both strengthening their teeth and gums. Additionally, chewing reducing the amount of plaque that accumulates on their teeth.
3. Veterinary Check-Ups -Does your veterinarian provide dental exams with your dog’s regular check-up? If not, they should. Just like people, dogs need to have their teeth checked by a professional every 6-12 months.
As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This holds true for dogs too, and taking the above steps can prevent costly dental procedures and health issues down the road.
Do you have any tips for making dog dental hygiene easier? Tell us in the comment section below: