How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Teeth

The idea that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s doesn’t mean they’re immune to the dangers of bad oral hygiene. While dogs aren’t as prone to cavities as we are, they can still develop other problems such as tartar buildup and gingivitis. If left untreated, the risks can escalate quickly, turning into life-threatening infections. Poor dog dental health can also lead to issues with the heart, liver and kidneys. Let’s look at a list of tasks you can do to take better care of your dog’s teeth.

Start Slow

You can’t grab your dog for the first time and expect them to immediately enjoy having their teeth brushed. The best way to clean your dog’s teeth is to wait until after they’ve exercised, when they have less energy and are more likely to sit still. If your dog starts becoming agitated, it’s time to stop for the day. Forcing a dental cleaning isn’t going to make the experience pleasant for either of you. Slowly increase the brushing time daily while using a soothing voice to make your dog more at ease.

The Proper Tools

Specific canine toothbrushes have been made to help the at-home dental cleaning process become more effective. These brushes are double-headed, with bristle set at 45 degrees to reach all sides of the tooth. Along with special brushes, make sure to use toothpaste specific to dogs, as human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is potentially fatal for dogs.

Dry Food is Better

We can go back and forth on the pros and cons of dry food versus soft food. However, in regards to a healthy mouth, dry dog food is the best option. Softer foods tend to get stuck in their teeth easily, which can lead to tooth decay and other problems if their teeth aren’t cleaned properly.

Chew Toys and Bones That Clean

There are many toys for dogs that are designed to benefit more than just their high energy needs. Many chew toys and bones are crafted to strengthen your dog’s teeth and gums, but make sure they aren’t too hard or you can run the risk of them breaking a tooth. This isn’t a permanent solution to achieving healthy oral hygiene. These products should be used in conjunction with brushing their teeth and professional dental cleanings.

Doggy Dental Cleaning

Make sure to inspect your dog’s teeth and mouth every week or two. Notice anything wrong? Take your dog to the vet if they’re experiencing any of the following: bad breath, pawing at the mouth and face, changes in eating habits, depression, drooling more than normal, changes in teeth positioning, discoloured or missing teeth, swollen, red and/or bleeding gums, bumps or growths in the mouth or yellowish-brown crust along the gums. Whether you have the healthiest pup in town or the sickest, their teeth should be checked every six months to a year. If a dental exam doesn’t occur during a routine check-up, don’t be afraid to ask.

K9 Gentle Dental is strictly a dental clinic for dogs. We don’t perform veterinary medicine, offering only the best canine dental cleaning services at our British Columbia and Alberta locations. Our highly trained practitioners are certified in pet first aid and are recruited for their experience with dogs. Our mission is to provide in-depth, anesthetic-free dental care for your companion. We strive to keep the highest level of integrity and honesty with our clients, so visit our website k9gentledental.ca or call to book an appointment.

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