According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, did you know that more than 80% of dogs have some degree of dental disease by 3 years of age? Our team wants to help prevent your pooch from being a part of that statistic. Here are our team’s three ways that you can help prevent dental disease in your canine companion.
Brush your dog’s teeth
- Choose the right toothbrush—There are dog toothbrushes that closely resemble human toothbrushes, but they are smaller and have softer bristles. Some dogs better tolerate a finger toothbrush, which fits over your finger and gives you the ability to access some of those hard-to-reach teeth.
- Use a dog-friendly toothpaste—Fluoride is toxic to dogs, so never use a human toothpaste on your pup. There are many pet-friendly options (and they often come in flavors your dog will love, like beef or poultry). If you’d rather make your own, mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 teaspoon water.
- Wear them out—Brushing your dog’s teeth will usually be easier if they are more calm. Take them for a long walk or let them run around the dog park for a while before attempting to clean their teeth.
- Brush their teeth—Working in circular motions, you’ll begin in the back of the mouth and move toward the front. Focus on the outside surface of each tooth because that’s where most of the plaque and tartar will build up. If they tolerate it, then work on the inside surface of each tooth.
- Don’t force it—If your dog shows signs that they are scared or uncomfortable, stop brushing, give them affection, offer a treat, and try again tomorrow.
Give food, treats, and toys that promote oral health
There are some dog foods and treats specifically formulated to address dental disease in dogs. Chew toys can help prevent plaque buildup.
Visit our hospital for regular preventive care visits
Your dog should visit us at least once per year so we can evaluate their overall health, including their oral health. Depending on the condition of their teeth, we may recommend a professional dental cleaning for your dog, which gives us the ability to remove bacteria from above the gum line to prevent gum disease.
If you have any questions about your pet’s pearly whites, please contact us.