According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80% of dogs show signs of some form of canine oral disease as early as three years old. That aptly sums up the need for proper dental hygiene for dogs. Just like us humans wouldn’t [and shouldn’t] skip brushing our teeth, the same logic applies for our canine companions too, of course with some degree of exception. Also, think about it this way, you don’t want those slobbery kisses to be smelly. Do you? So, in today’s article we will share 5 tips to ensure doggy dental hygiene that are easy to follow.
Before getting into the tips, here are some signs that may indicate probable oral disease in dogs. Some things to watch out for.
- Bad breath
- Tartar and plaque [yellowish brown crust] around the gum line
- Bleeding gums and tooth loss
- Excessive dribbling
- Pain when eating and pawing at the mouth
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Over to the tips
Brush their teeth
Since brushing teeth is the foundation of oral hygiene, you can brush your dog’s teeth daily. If that’s not possible, at least do it weekly. Remember to use toothpaste specifically made for dogs preferably using natural ingredients without preservatives or chemicals. Many of these toothpastes come in likeable flavours including chicken, beef and peanut butter to entice those pooches. Doggy toothbrushes are also specially designed with angled handles, soft bristles and multiple heads to reach every corner of the mouth. Even if your dog dreads brushing their teeth and throws a tantrum, if it becomes part of their routine, they will eventually get used to it.
Use doggy dental wipes
A good oral care solution is to use dental wipes specifically made for dogs. Tooth wipes are an easy way to ensure your dog’s dental hygiene if you can’t brush them daily. Doggy dental wipes are effective in cleaning some amount of plaque although it can’t reach all corners of the mouth like a toothbrush. It helps in cleaning odour-causing bacteria.
Give them healthy chews and treats
Here’s good news for dogs: a few chews and treats a day can keep the vet away. If chosen carefully healthy chews and treats help in keeping your dog’s teeth and gums clean. Such chews and treats come in different flavours, shapes and sizes so there are many options to select from. So, choose wisely. However, remember that it’s recommended to check with the veterinary doctor before adding anything new to your dog’s diet, particularly ones with a sensitive tummy.
Try infusing dental additive in water
You can pick a good quality additive to add to your dog’s water bowl. These additives help is freshening breath and prevents plaque build-up. They are usually tasteless but finicky dogs will figure out and may refuse to drink the additive-infused water initially. But they will get used to it in a few days once it becomes routine. However, we repeat for dogs with sensitive tummy, its recommended to check with the veterinary doctor before adding anything new to their food or water.
Take them for routine dental cleaning
Finally, it is highly recommended that you take your dogs for routine dental check-ups. No matter how well you care for your dog’s dental hygiene tartar and plaque tend to build up over time. And a veterinary doctor can check and advise if a professional cleaning is required. Teeth cleaning frequency generally depends on the breed and age of the dog as well as the level of dental care received at home.
Note: This article is meant for information and awareness and should not be considered as medical opinion.