Dental hygiene is just as important for dogs as is for humans. In fact, according to Billings Animal Family Hospital, keeping up with your dog’s dental hygiene is not simply aesthetic; It can add two to four years to your dog’s life.
To raise awareness for the sake of your dog’s pearly whites, here are five inexpensive ways to ensure the longevity of your dog’s dental health.
Healthy Dog Treats. There are a plethora of dog treats to choose from, but some are far better for your dog’s dental health than others.
Dogs love treats and if you start them on a healthy treat as a puppy or soon after you rescue them, they will love it because it signals that you are pleased with them.
So, what is a healthy treat?
There are specific treats designed to help combat tartar and plaque buildup along your dog’s gums. They can be found in the same aisle as in most stores as the other treats but there are also organic and specialized treats, which may be a preference for dog parents. However, simply getting the dental-friendly treats is sufficient.
Also, giving your dog seedless apples, or other fresh produce helps to keep your dog’s teeth clean while providing them with entertainment and controlling their weight.
Chew Toys. When it comes to the dental preservation man’s best friend, even playtime can help to keep their teeth healthy.
If your dog is anything like mine, they love their toys. (My dog even sleeps with her toys and occasionally uses them to lull herself into a slumber, like a baby would use a pacifier.)
Therefore, getting a toy that your dog loves, that also helps to fight tartar and bacteria is a win-win.
Some of the best chew toys to accomplish this are the rubber toys. Unlike hard bones, or antlers, the rubber is soft and while it will help to clean their teeth, it is far less likely to break their teeth.
“…the rubber is soft and while it will help to clean their teeth, it is far less likely to break their teeth.”
Hard Food. While the food that each pet parent gives their dog is regarded mostly as a personal choice, giving your dog hard food instead of soft food is always a better option.
This isn’t proven to dramatically improve your dog’s dental hygiene since it’s kind of like humans eating popcorn. However, hard food is a healthier choice than soft food because it is less fattening, and it doesn’t get stuck in their teeth and beneath their gums as much as the sticky, gooey soft food.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth. Humans need to brush their teeth to keep up with their own dental hygiene, so doesn’t it make sense that your dog would need the same care?
Utilizing a mixture of baking soda, a beef bouillon cube, salt and parsley, dog-safe tooth-paste is a good way to ensure you get a good clean while helping your dog think you’re giving them a meaty treat.
Allow your dog to sniff the toothpaste and the toothbrush (a cheap regular toothbrush is fine) and wait until they seem comfortable with it. Then, carefully expose your dog’s teeth and brush in a circular motion, ensuring that you get up by their gums; as this is where infection and disease will manifest.
It is recommended that you brush your dog’s teeth once per week.
Be Aware. As with everything else in your dog’s life, you are their best defense against bad dental hygiene. When dogs are in pain or have something wrong with their gums, they generally don’t show it. They aren’t going to tell you they have a toothache, or even give any indication they are in pain. This is a trait that has passed down from their wild ancestors.
However, you know your dog better than anyone. If they aren’t eating, or they seem off, even if you are diligent about your dog’s dental hygiene, always take subtle changes in moods or routines seriously.
Hopefully, you have found this list helpful and use these tips to get into a doggy dental hygiene groove with your dog, if you haven’t already.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read Rescuing A Princess: A Personal Story here.
Is there anything you do for you pup’s teeth? Share below!