Dental Hygiene for Dogs
An often overlooked or neglected aspect of caring for our dogs is maintaining their oral hygiene. Although those words might evoke memories of dreaded visits to the dentists from your childhood, they’re extremely important for your dog. A sign of poor dental hygiene in dogs, which often goes unnoticed, is bad breath. You might have assumed that there’s nothing wrong and your pet is just naturally stinky, but it’s the primary sign of early dental disease in dogs. Another way to check if your dog is free of dental disease is to examine your dog’s gums every few weeks. If their gums aren’t pink, and if they’re white, red, or swollen, it might be time for a visit to the vet. Dog dental care is quite simple, and the cost is nowhere as high as that of most dental care procedures for people. Untreated dental issues can prove to be quite painful for your dog and can lead to infection. In this article, we’ll share the simple ways in which you can practice dental hygiene for dogs in your everyday life.
Brush their teeth
No, we aren’t joking! If you’re confused about what we mean or how to clean their teeth, don’t worry, dog’s teeth need to be brushed just as ours do. It serves essentially the same function as it does for us- it prevents plaque buildup. It doesn’t have to be nearly as often, don’t worry. You won’t have to do it more than twice of thrice a week. There are several ways to make the experience as comfortable for your dog as possible. First, touch the toothbrush to their teeth without the toothpaste. Then familiarize them with the toothpaste as though it’s a treat. Most dog toothpastes are flavored and made to taste delicious to them. You get flavors such as chicken and peanut butter. You must use a brand of toothpaste made specifically for dogs, as toothpaste made for humans are toxic for them. To continue the process of getting your dog acquainted with tooth-brushing, let them lick the toothpaste of your fingers. It makes sense to do this rather than simply forcing down an unfamiliar object and a new taste into their mouth. Once they seemed to have warmed up to the toothpaste and toothbrush, you can start to brush their teeth. Remember to be slow and keep praising them to keep them calm.
For those dogs who put up a relentless protest against their teeth being brushed, dental treats can be used. You get several chewy treats which are made with ingredients to prevent plaque buildup and freshen your dog’s breath. Make sure that whichever dental treats you purchase have all the necessary certifications to ensure they’re safe. Dogs usually prefer treats to toothbrushes. They simply feel happy munching on their little snack, little do they know of our ulterior motives. It’s obvious they would prefer this, but we should still try and brush their teeth as and when we can.
Your dog’s constant gnawing on his toy is not in vain. The act of constantly chewing itself is good for your dog’s oral hygiene because it scrapes plaque off your dog’s teeth. In addition, you get chew toys made with natural ingredients which contain enzymes which have cleaning properties. You get chews like chicken strips or milk strips which do this. Even regular chew toys made which more durable materials do the job. They relieve your dog’s boredom while simultaneously improve their dental health.
Tartar will build up on your dog's teeth over time no matter how much at-home dental care you offer, just like it does on human teeth. Even though we brush our teeth every day, it still helps to get our teeth professionally cleaned from time to time. The same may be said about dogs. When tartar and gingivitis build up in your dog’s mouth, your veterinarian will prescribe a dental cleaning called dental prophylaxis. Some dogs require dental cleanings on an annual basis, while others require them every few years; it all depends on the breed and the frequency of dental care they get at home.
Diet for Dental Health
Your dogs diet also impact their dental health to a great extent, the same way it does for us. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ formula or key to the perfect diet. You have to understand your dog’s needs. Consult your veterinarian too, to help formulate the perfect diet for your dog.