Dental Health: Pearly Whites are More Important than You Think

Dental health is easily overlooked on dogs. Most people assume because they each crunchy kibble or chew on their toys that their teeth must be clean right? Unfortunately it’s usually not that simple

Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth

In order to prevent gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth loss, it is important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and provide proper items for them to chew on. It is also important to make sure your veterinarian checks your dog’s teeth upon their yearly checkups to see if a cleaning needs to be done.

Brushing Regularly

Regular brushing can prevent plaque and gum disease, and save you the cost of yearly cleanings which are expensive and require your dog to undergo anesthesia, which gets more dangerous the older they are!

It’s not as hard as you might think and once you get the hang of it, you can make it a nightly routine, brush your teeth, brush your dog’s!

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Using a good dog toothpaste, lift up the dog’s lip and holding the toothbrush at a 45° angle against the tooth and gumline, brush your dog’s teeth by moving the brush in small circular motions. Make sure not to brush too hard! There is no need to brush the inside of the dogs teeth because the tongue creates a self-cleaning action keeps the inside surface relatively clean.

If bleeding occurs this indicates gum disease, but daily brushing should tighten the gums and stop the bleeding in one to two weeks.

Brush at least 3 times a week for healthy teeth and gums. If your dog has already developed periodontal disease you will need to brush daily.

DO NOT use toothpaste for humans, the ingredients are not good for them. There are many different dog toothpastes on the market, some can be found at pet stores and some you can get from your veterinarian.

You can also make your own homemade toothpaste by mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water.

Chewing for Clean Teeth

There are a number of items on the market that boast the ability to clean your dogs teeth. While not all of them can live up to the hype, there are some things that can aid in cleaning your dog’s teeth between brushings and stimulate the gums. Below are a few that we recommend! But remember, nothing is a substitute for brushing!

Bones

Our #1 suggestion for the best interim teeth cleaning product, raw beef bones. Do not cook the bones, the heat will impact the bones and harden them, this could cause tooth breakage and a costly vet bill to remove the tooth!

Just go to your local grocery store and ask for some beef bones. They will usually cut them to your preferred size, which is important so your little dog doesn’t overextend their jaw trying to chew on a large bone!

If you can’t find a butcher, you can usually purchase soup bones or just buy a rack of beef ribs, remove the majority of the meat, and give them the bones. If the meat is very fresh, and if you feel comfortable, you can give your dog the rib bone with the meat on it. They will be more than happy to clean it off!

DO NOT feed your dog chicken, pork, or any other animal bones. The possibility of splintering is too great and there have been too many emergency room visits costing thousands of dollars to prove it. The only bones that are acceptable to feed your dog areRAW BEEF BONES.

What about Nylabones?

Nylabones have been proven to break dog’s teeth, plus there have been many instances where large pieces have gotten lodged in dog’s intestines and caused death.

Also, because the plastic that Nylabones are made out of does not show up on x-rays, it can be too late before a veterinarian even knows what is causing the issue. We strongly urge you to remove any and all Nylabones from your house and to spread the word! Read more about the danger of Nylabones here along with people’s personal experiences.