February is “National Pet Dental Month!” Dental hygiene is an essential part of your dogs’ overall health. There are several ways to keep your dogs’ teeth clean daily. Thankfully, dental issues are easy to prevent if you are educated about your options and stay consistent! Here are ways to keep your pets’ teeth clean.
Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Clean By Brushing!
The most traditional way to clean your dogs’ teeth is by brushing their teeth with a toothbrush and pet-friendly toothpaste. There are different types of toothbrushes you can use for your pet. You can get toothpaste with many different yummy flavors to entice your pet to clean their teeth. Your local pet store will carry toothbrushes of different sizes to fit your dogs’ mouth. You can also get silicone finger brushes that work on the tip of your finger. This can be a good option if you find your dog doesn’t like the stiffer bristles. Another alternative is applying pet-friendly toothpaste right on your finger and either spreading it around on your dogs’ teeth and gums or allowing them to lick it off your finger. A lot of pet-friendly tubes of toothpaste are enzymatic. This means that when the toothpaste comes into contact with your dogs’ saliva, it will break down the toothpaste and help it get to work with cleaning your dogs’ teeth!
Use Dental Sticks As A Nice Treat
Dental sticks are an excellent way of getting your dogs’ teeth clean while feeding them a nice treat. These teeth cleaning products are known as “Greenies” or “Dentastix” at your local pet store. Greenies and Dentastix are usually made with natural ingredients to help keep your dog healthy. Since your dog has to chew these treats, it helps to remove plaque and tartar off their teeth. When your dog sinks their teeth into the dental chew, this helps facilitate plaque removal.
Dental Sprays Can Get The Job Done
To keep your pets’ teeth clean, you can use dental sprays between brushing. If your dog has bad breath, dental sprays are a good option. They are also quick and easy if you are short on time, but you still need to get dental cleaning done. Sprays should not replace using an actual toothbrush and toothpaste. Some dogs won’t stay still long enough for a thorough tooth cleaning, so sprays are super fast and convenient.
Give Your Dog Some Chew Toys
If you have a dog who loves to chew on things, chew toys are a great option for that! Chew toys will also help to keep your pets’ teeth clean. Chewing is a natural behavior for your dog and one they love to exercise. This will keep your pet busy and burn some energy. If you have a puppy, providing chew toys will not only help keep their paws (and teeth) away from your belongings, but chewing on toys will help soothe any pain they may have from teething. The constant gnawing on toys helps to scrape plaque off of their teeth. You can find chew toys of several materials such as plastic, rubber and nylon. One material isn’t better than the other, but be aware of any small pieces that your dog can chew off as they may pose a choking hazard. Lastly, be sure you choose the correct size toy for your dog based on their age and breed.
Take Your Pet To The Vet For Regular Cleanings
If you find your dog is pretty fussy with getting their teeth cleaned, you can always make appointments with your vet for regular dental checkups. Your veterinarian can closely examine your pets’ teeth to ensure that there aren’t any significant issues brewing with their teeth and gums. This is something you should include in your annual checkups. Periodontal disease is a prevalent gum disease in dogs. It mainly affects small dogs. Dog breeds such as Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Dachshunds and Pugs are prone to periodontal disease. The best way to mitigate this is by using the tips above! Just like you, your dog only gets one set of teeth! Taking care of them is extremely important. Being consistent with dental cleaning will help eliminate any potential problems.
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