While you’re busy keeping up with your own oral hygiene, don’t forget to look after your pup’s dental health too! Plenty of people are a little too familiar with their pet’s less-than-fresh breath, but did you know that dogs can have problems like cavities and gum disease, too? And just like with humans, those dental issues can signal the start of other health issues. Here are some general tips to follow for taking care of your dog’s dental hygiene:
Yup, that’s right. You should brush your dog’s teeth! But not necessarily twice a day like you do with your own. It’s great if you can do it daily, but if you can’t, a couple times a week should be good. Go for a canine toothbrush that has two heads with bristles if possible, and definitely use dog-specific toothpaste. We repeat: it’s okay to use a normal human toothbrush but please do not use your toothpaste! Most dogs haven’t worked their way up to spitting on command, and the fluoride in many of our toothpastes can make your dog sick.
When brushing your dog’s teeth for the first time, it may a little tricky to get them to sit still or to feel comfortable with what you’re doing. Consider having tooth-brushing time right after playtime so they’re less restless. Also, be patient. They might not love having you scrubbing around their mouth, so gently ease into it. If you’re dog absolutely cannot tolerate tooth brushing, pick up some dog dental wipes. They may not be able to get in all those hard-to-reach crevices, but they’re better than nothing!
Dental Treats or Toys
There are plenty of products out there disguised as treats or toys that are actually meant to help your dog’s dental health — including rawhide chews, bones, biscuits, and toys. We bet your dog will love the extra attention, and you can give yourself a pat on the back for being a thoughtful dog owner! The simple act of chewing can reduce the amount of plaque build-up in your dog’s mouth.
When shopping for a product, keep an eye out for a “VOHC-approved” stamp. This means that it meet standards issued by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Also, take into consideration your dog’s size and preferences to find the right match.
You maintain your regular doctor check-ups and same should be true for your pup too! Remember to bring your dog to the veterinarian every six months to a year so that they can receive a professional dental exam. Crystal Falls Animal Hospital and Block House Creek Animal Hospital are two of the local vets close to us here at Apple Springs Family Dentistry!
Want some dental hygiene tips of your own? We’re in the business of helping humans, and we’d be more than happy to help you! Contact Apple Springs Family Dentistry to discuss some best practices for your oral health, and to set up a teeth cleaning and exam of your own at our Leander office.