In many ways, caring for an animal is just like caring for ourselves. We need to think about diet, exercise, and basic hygiene in order to live a long, healthy life. Along with all that comes dental care. Just as we need to brush regularly and get routine professional cleanings, so too does your furry friend. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about dog dental care, from how often to brush their teeth to the best chews for removing plaque buildup.
Although their dental care is often overlooked, dogs are at risk of many of the same dental health problems as we are. In fact, periodontal disease (gum disease) — a progressive gum disease that damages the gums and bones in the mouth — is the most common infectious disease in adult dogs, affecting over 87 percent of them. But proper dental care can keep periodontal disease at bay and prevent bacteria buildup, gingivitis, bad breath, pain, tooth loss, and more serious health complications.
Not taking care of your pet’s teeth can cause them a lot of pain and discomfort, which they may not show. Broken, loose, and damaged teeth can cause severe pain and even prevent your dog from eating. Of course, the inability to eat can lead to more serious troubles, including malnutrition. But before things get this serious, pet parents often notice that dental problems cause excessive drooling and bad breath. Yellow, stained teeth can also indicate poor dental care.
In humans, the link between good oral health and good overall health is becoming increasingly more clear, and the same is true for pets. The bacteria that builds up in your dog’s mouth can lead to serious health complications. Although more research is needed, canine gum disease has been linked to heart problems that could lead to heart attack and stroke. The experts say that dental bacterial buildup may also increase the risk of diabetes and kidney disease in dogs.
As you can see, taking care of your four-legged family member’s teeth is a great way to help support them and encourage a longer, healthier life, and we all want that! But how do you do that? It all comes down to providing the right chews, brushing your dog’s teeth, and scheduling them for occasional cleanings. Here’s how often these things are necessary and what they entail.
Daily: Provide a Dental Chew — By far the easiest and most enjoyable way to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth is to provide them with a tasty chew each day or a few times per week. We recommend giving your dog bully sticks on a weekly basis. These durable treats help manually scrape away plaque and tartar through your dog’s chewing action, which can help prevent the development of periodontal disease and other complications. In addition to dental treats, you can supply dental health toys that will help mechanically remove plaque and tartar buildup in the same way.
Twice Weekly: Brush Their Teeth — Although it seems a little bit strange, you should get into the habit of regularly brushing your dog’s teeth. While daily brushing is ideal, brushing two or three times a week is an excellent way to help remove bacteria and buildup that leads to gum disease, bad breath, decay, and more. Luckily, there are toothbrushes and toothpaste designed specifically for dogs to make this task a bit easier. Read our guide below on how to brush your dog’s teeth.
Annually: Schedule a Deep Cleaning — Taking your dog in for a professional deep clean is the best way to remove plaque buildup and address any potentially serious dental problems, like broken teeth and decay. Typically, your vet will put your dog under general anesthesia in order to thoroughly clean and inspect the teeth, gums, and mouth. For this reason, dog teeth cleanings can be expensive and a bit risky for some dogs. With that said, having it done once or twice a year is a fantastic way to keep your dog’s teeth in great shape.
As Needed: Dental Rinses — There are a number of pet dental rinses and solutions you can add to your dog’s water that will help kill oral bacteria and keep smelly breath and plaque buildup at bay. While you may not need to add these to every bowl of food or water, this is a great way to boost your pet’s dental health if you notice it’s starting to deteriorate.
Improving your pet’s oral health may be as simple as giving them a chew once or twice a week. Not only will they love it, but they’ll also come away with healthier teeth and better breath. Choosing the right chews can also help you support your dog’s health by providing an extra serving of protein and other nutrients, such as glucosamine, collagen, or chondroitin.
You know that not all bones and chews are right for every dog. Which dog chews are the best for safely scraping away plaque? In general, you want to look for options made from natural ingredients that’s long-lasting enough to do some serious work on your dog’s plaque buildup. Longer-lasting treats, such as those listed below, will also work better than treats that degrade quickly because they’ll provide more of that valuable scraping action.
In addition to knowing which dog chews are best for sprucing up their oral health, it also helps to understand which chews, treats, and toys are best to avoid. Certain treats should be off-limits because they can actually cause more plaque buildup, while others come with a risk of choking and broken teeth. Here are the kinds of dog treats to avoid if you want your dog to have a vibrant, healthy smile.
If you’ve got a pet who won’t sit still for more than a few seconds or one who can get aggressive when bothered, tooth brushing can seem like quite a daunting task. Indeed, you don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way or upset your furry friend. This is why a proper teeth-brushing technique is crucial to your success. Make sure to brush their teeth at least once, but preferably twice, per week.
Here’s how to do it for the best results.
Taking good care of your pet’s teeth is crucial to ensuring that they live a longer, happier life with minimal pain and discomfort. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to tackle once you know what to do. Best Bully Sticks is here to help you care for your canine’s canines with top-notch teeth-cleaning chews that your dog will love.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your dog is getting the necessary nutrition and supplements for maximum wellness. Supplements like collagen can promote healthy bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, fur, and nail growth for your dog.