As the loving pet parent that you are, you've probably done everything possible to keep your dog in prime health. You provide him with the most healthy foods, make sure he exercises daily, and even book appointments with the vet for preventative care.
That’s all great, now, up next is his teeth! Pups cannot get cavities like us, but they can have other dental issues like tartar, plaque build-up; and in the long run, gingivitis.
Beyond bad breath and yellow teeth, these dental problems can become a big deal if they’re not taken care of early. So, to avoid them altogether, here are 4 tips that would surely help:
- Brushing Regularly
In puppy parenting, brushing your pup's teeth is an experience that might take a while to get used to; for both you and your pup. But, it's the easiest and most cost-effective way for you to ensure oral care right at home. It's advisable to brush your dog's teeth daily to prevent the build-up of bacteria, plaque, or tartar. To do this:
- Get a soft-toothed brush or a finger brush and special toothpaste formulated for dogs. Always use pet-formulated toothpaste! Why? Human toothpaste contains substances that are not great for dogs.
- If brushing directly proves to be a battle or you simply want to switch up dental care routines, you can make use of dental wipes. When rubbed against your puppy’s teeth, it helps get rid of plaque, and remaining food particles.
- Another alternative is using dog mouthwash. When diluted into water bowls, the mouthwash helps in killing germs and reducing plaque. Please, do not use human mouthwash.
You can find all of these products at your local pet supply store or veterinary office.
- Feed Appropriate Foods
To make oral care even easier, you can grab some treats that are great for cleanliness. Dry foods are generally better than soft foods. The crunchy treats help scrape away tartar as they feed. Soft foods, however, stick to the teeth and cause faster build-up. Ask your dog's veterinarian for a diet plan if you’re at a loss at which way to go.
- Use Chew Toys And Bones For Cleaning
There are several synthetic chew toys and bones specifically designed to keep your dog's teeth and gums clean. The constant gnawing at these toys removes plaque and causes them to secrete saliva that protects their tooth.
However, avoid giving your pup hard nylon toys or natural bones. For one, they may chew so hard that it comes apart and lodges or obstructs. Secondly, your pup’s dentition may not be sufficiently developed and hard bones can cause damage.
- Schedule Checkups And Cleanings
Even with your finest efforts to keep your fur baby's oral health top-notch, it's unlikely that you give a thorough cleaning the way a vet would.
Take your dog to the vet (six months intervals) to carry out routine checkups, teeth polishing, and gum line cleaning.
However, if you notice any of the following symptoms below, we recommend scheduling a vet visit versus waiting for your bi-annual dental appointment.
- Has terrible breath.
- Produces excessive drools.
- Extra teeth (has a lot of teeth growing in a small space).
- White, swollen, or bleeding gums.
- Broken, discolored (brown, gray, or black) or crooked teeth.
- Is sensitive to touch around the face.
- Exhibit a change in eating and chewing habits.