Just as we do, dogs need daily attention to keep their mouths clean and free of odour producing bacteria and tartar. Keeping your dogs mouth healthy not only makes those close cuddles more pleasant, it is essential for optimal overall health and helps avoid the hip pocket pain with professional cleaning.
Home care tips for your dogs teeth:
1. Daily tooth brushing
Tooth brushing is for healthy mouths, and a way to help prevent a problem, not to treat one. It won’t help an already sore and unhealthy mouth, where it would only serve to cause pain and a negative association with tooth brushing.
This means tooth brushing needs to start before there’s a problem, and if there is a problem – only start after that has been treated.
When done properly, this is the gold standard way to look after your dogs teeth. The mechanical action of the brush on the tooth is what helps, and for it to be effective it needs to be done daily.
2. Good quality, balanced diet
A great diet’s importance can never be overlooked. Your pet needs to be fed a balanced and highly digestible diet, that is appropriate to their individual needs.
There are many dental chews that help reduce the formation of plaque. It’s the mechanical action of the chew against the teeth that helps, so chew time is important. If your pet is a one bite and swallow kind of kid, then unfortunately that chew isn’t doing anything at all to help clean the mouth.
4. Water additives
There are a few options here available for pets where the additive is added to the drinking water as a way to help protect the teeth. It’s important to check the ingredient list and always run it by your Vet. Some can be helpful on a short term basis but a major issue to consider is that the taste or look could deter your pet from drinking as much water as they need.
5. Regular Veterinary checks
Regularly seeing your Veterinarian for a hands on check ensures early intervention if a problem arises, and most importantly prevention of sore, sorry mouths.
Ultimately, your pet’s home-care dental plan needs to be enjoyable for you and them, and tailored to your needs. Specific recommendations can only be made after learning more about your situation.