We spend plenty of time and energy making sure that our own teeth are clean and healthy, but sometimes the oral healthy of our furry friends can be overlooked. Your dog’s oral hygiene is just as important as your own! Proper oral hygiene can continue to keep your dog healthy and avoid other health problems down the road. Give your dog regular home checks and follow these tips to make sure your pup has healthy chompers!
It’s never pleasant to smell your dog’s breath, but the lack of action on bad smelling breath can be even worse. It’s okay if your dog’s breathe isn’t the freshest, but an extremely offensive smell can be a warning sign for a much larger problem. Especially if the bad smell is accompanied by loss of appetite, vomiting, or excessive drinking. If your dog experiences these problems together, it’s time to take them to the vet.
One of the easiest ways to make sure your dog has a high level of oral hygiene is to check their gums manually. Lift your dog’s lips and examine his gums and teeth. His gums should be pink and not show any signs of swelling. You should be alarmed if his gums are red or white and this check should be done once a week.
Brush Those Teeth!
Depending on a dog’s diet, you may have to keep up on brushing their teeth. There are toothbrushes made specifically for dogs, but you can also use a piece of soft gauze wrapped around your finger. Additionally, you should never use human toothpaste, instead use a paste that is designed for canines. Experts also warn against using fluoride with dogs under six months old, to not interfere with their enamel development.
The technique in brushing can actually be more important than the act itself. Brushing in small circular motions proves to be the most effective method. Problem areas include the side of the tooth that touches the dog’s cheek. That area usually has the most tartar build up. Experts are not considerably worried about the interior of your dog’s teeth. Most breeds do not have tartar build up in that location and they can be a big pain to try and brush.
Chew toys have many benefits outside of simply being a toy for your dog to play with. Gnawing on a chew toy can massage your canine’s gums and also help to remove soft tartar build up. More advanced chew toys such as elk antlers can add calcium back into your dog’s teeth and provide an all natural solution to your dog’s natural desire to chomp. You should check with your vet to determine the best chew toy for your specific pup. They should be able to recommend a toxin-free rawhide, nylon, or rubber chew toy.
Remember, your furry best friend also deserves the best in oral care. Providing them with the tools to keep their teeth clean and gums healthy will help them live longer and prevent other, more serious ailments down the road. Use these tips to put an emphasis on canine oral hygiene!