Dental disease is a common pet issue and this bad bacteria in the mouth can spread through the bloood stream to cause issues around your dog's body. Many dogs, particularly small breeds, are susceptible to plaque and tartar build up on their teeth, but keeping up a good oral hygiene practice with your pup is part of a healthy lifestyle and will keep those whites pearly and that pup smiling!
Getting your pup accustomed to teeth brushing from an early age is important - establishing the routine and making them comfortable with the practice from youth means that they will be able to have their teeth cleaned with no distress or discomfort their whole life long. As with many other practices, slow & steady introduction of the process over time will avoid any fear or anxiety arising once they see the toothbrush come out. See our article on Desensitisation for more details about how to introduce the toothbrush and teeth brushing over time, with the aim of brushing their teeth every day if possible, or at least a few times a week. Making it a fun experience will also help your dog associate teeth brushing time with positive emotions.
NB: NEVER use human toothpaste - it is toxic for dogs - and you need only clean the outside of their teeth as their tongue does the work keeping the inside clean.
VOHC seal of approval
When buying oral hygiene products for your pup, looking for the VOCH seal means it is certified by the Veterinary Oral Health Council and may be most effective.
Dental Dog Food
There is specific dog food formulated to help keep plaque and tartar at bay between cleanings. It’s texture and composition help to clean the teeth when chewing.
Breath sprays can similarly help to maintain your pup’s healthy and clean teeth and gums, They should not be used as an alternative to tooth brushing, but to supplement the practice.
Water additives are what they say on the tin. Add them to their drinking water to help freshen breath and to keep up their oral hygiene. Again, these are to be used in conjunction with tooth brushing rather than instead of.
If your pup is suffering from particularly bad breath, this could be a sign that something more serious is going on inside. Be sure to get to your vet if you suspect your pup is in need of some closer oral attention or if you need assistance with keeping their oral health care routine in tip top condition!
Read more in the following articles:
5 Tips to Save your Dog's Teeth
How to Cure Your Pet's Bad Breath
Doggy Daycare & Luxury Dog Hotel
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