6 Dental Care Tips for Dogs

Take care of your pet’s teeth.

6 Dental Care Tips for Dogs

You’ve probably heard it said that a dog’s mouth is actually cleaner than a human’s mouth. While it’s true that canines don’t get cavities as often as we do, they can still develop problems like tartar and plaque buildup. Moreover, their dental issues can eventually lead to more serious problems such as heart, liver and kidney disease, just as is the case for us humans. So dental care for dogs is important.

Here are some tips to help you keep your canine pal’s teeth and gums clean and healthy:

1. Start a dental care regimen as soon as possible

The best time to begin is when your dog is a puppy. That way he can get used to the process early on which will make things much easier for you as your dog gets older.

2. Get your pet used to brushing gradually

If your dog has never experienced tooth brushing, start slowly and stop if your dog begins to get nervous. Then every day after that, increase the time you spend working on Fido’s mouth until he gets used to it. Remember to speak gently to  your dog as you are brushing his teeth and reward him with a doggie treat afterwards.

3. Buy the right toothpaste and toothbrush for your dog

You can purchase toothpaste and toothbrushes specially formulated for canines at most good pet supply stores. Human toothpaste contains fluoride, a substance that is highly toxic to dogs. Never use it on your animal pal.

4. Give Fido chew bones and chew toys to maintain cleaner teeth

Synthetic bones and chew toys are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s teeth and gums. Be aware that other hard objects, including regular bones, can cause broken teeth.

5. Feed your dog dry food rather than soft food

Crunchy kibble is much better for your canine’s teeth then soft food. This is because soft food is much more likely to stick to teeth and cause decay.

6. Inspect Fido’s mouth on a regular basis

Even if you don’t brush your dog’s teeth, you should make it a point to look inside in his mouth every week. Consult your veterinarian if you see any signs of the following:

• misaligned or missing teeth
• discolored, broken or crooked teeth
• yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
• red, swollen or bleeding gums
• growths inside the mouth
• excessive drooling
• bad breath

The Doctors of Veterinary Medicine at the Pet and Bird Clinics recommend that your dog get a tooth examination as part of a normal checkup every 6 to 12 months. Remember, good dental care not only saves you money in the long run but may also save your pet’s life. So bring your dog to see our caring veterinary staff today and keep Fido smiling bright!

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