Choosing the Right Vet for Your Pet

Tips For Better Dog Dental Care

Most dog owners are highly attuned to their dogs' barks, but often tend to overlook their pet's dental hygiene. Neglecting your dog's oral health can lead to a host of problems, including bad breath, broken teeth or periodontal disease that leads to premature tooth loss. A visit to the vet every few months can help keep most problems at bay and ensure your dog's pearly whites are strong and shiny.

Dog dentists can perform annual oral cleaning to remove plaque that causes periodontal disease and perform oral exams that can reveal broken teeth, gum disease or injuries to the gum. Here is a look at steps you can take at home to help keep your dog's teeth in perfect shape.

Tooth brushing

The first step to ensuring proper oral hygiene for your dog is to brush his teeth regularly. Though it may be daunting, tooth brushing is doable with the right tools and techniques. For starters, put a little pet toothpaste on your finger and let your dog lick it off you before using the finger to gently massage the teeth and gums. You should never use human toothpaste, as it often contains a sugar substitute called xylitol that can cause liver damage in dogs.

Once the dog gets used to the idea of tooth cleaning, you can then introduce a canine toothbrush to gently scrub the teeth clean. Starting early can get your dog used to brushing at a tender age, making him more comfortable with the process. Tooth brushing is not only good for removing plaque and eliminating bad breath, but it can also help create a bond between you and your pet as you probably won't mind as much if he's in your face.

Prevent broken teeth

Any dog owner knows that dogs like to chew on just about anything. Aggressive chewing on rocks, fencing or other hard objects can potentially cause broken teeth along with injury to the gums and teeth. To distract your dog from such chewing, supply them with dental chew toys recommended by your vet. Such toys are not harmful to the teeth and will usually fit into nooks and crannies so as to remove plaque on tooth surfaces.

Another way to prevent broken teeth is to avoid giving your dog hard treats such as bones, cow hooves or nylon toys. Softer chews such as therapeutic dry foods could be a good alternative, as they are safe for chewing and will also give the teeth a cleaning every time your dog bites into them. Visit if you think your dog needs a visit to a dog dentist.