Your dog’s oral health is just as important as yours. Their teeth need to be cleaned regularly to ensure that their health is not compromised. But being the playful beings that they are, you might find it challenging to clean their teeth. Let’s talk about some strategies on how to clean a dog’s teeth. Apart from home cleaning, professional dental cleaning is also necessary.
Importance of Dental Care for Dogs
Lucky for dogs, they are not as susceptible to cavities as humans. But regardless of the traditional belief that their mouth is much cleaner than ours, tartar, gingivitis, and plaque might still take place. These things don’t just result in obvious side effects such as bad breath and discoloured teeth. Just like humans, poor dental health could cause serious health complications in the heart, kidney, and liver.
It’s also important to take care of your dog’s dental health because dental procedures don’t come cheap. If they have a decayed tooth that needs extraction, you will need to spend at least $1000 for the removal, root canal treatment, and others.
Different Ways To Clean A Dog’s Teeth
While tooth brushing is the primary way of cleaning teeth, there are other ways for you to try especially if your dog is not a fan of toothpaste and toothbrush. Listed below are the tips on how to clean a dog’s teeth without any hassle:
Canine Dental Spray
Dental spray for dogs is usually recommended if the dog could not stay still and gives its owner a hard time. A lot of dental sprays nowadays are effective enough to prevent tartar and plaque buildup while managing the spread of bacteria inside the mouth. In addition to this, it gives your dog a mintier and fresher breath,
Many veterinarians suggest that kibbles or dry foods are much better than soft foods. Kibbles are useful in keeping the teeth clean and prevents bacterial buildup. Moreover, fresh foods don’t only keep your dog’s teeth healthy but their overall wellbeing as well.
Fortunately, there are a variety of chew toys for your dog to choose from. They differ in size, shape, and texture. This type of toy can sweep off the plaque from the dog’s teeth while they are enjoying playing with it. Just be sure to always have your dog supervised with chew toys as they might accidentally swallow some pieces of it.
Raw bones are much better than cooked bones as it does not splinter that might cause harm to dogs. Dogs are a huge fan of raw bones as it makes them happy to chew endlessly. One of the great benefits brought by raw bones is that it cleans that dog’s teeth while the canine is enjoying himself. However, it’s important to take note of the bones that are right for your dog. The size of the bone should be just perfect for the size of your dog.
Try Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural resource with so many beneficial properties. This has been dubbed as natures toothpaste because of its antimicrobial properties. If you are seeking something that will improve your dog’s dental health naturally, coconut oil is the answer. But beware as most dogs go nuts for its taste.
You read that right. Tooth wipes for dogs are now a thing. It’s now easier to clean your dog’s teeth as you will only need to wipe off the plaque and tartar from their teeth. The tooth wipes can also eliminate bacteria that causes foul odour.
Dental sticks are not just for treats. They are also great at cleaning teeth and practising chewing, additionally, they help your dog satisfy their need to bite and chew as well. This is the product that offers the benefits of both raw bones and dental chew toys. Once your dog gets a taste of a dental stick, it will become one of its favourite treats. However, keep them supervised while they are busy chewing it as they might choke on large pieces.
Another essential addition to our list is water additive. It’s good to say that there are so many water additives to choose from these days. Water additives make your job easier as you will only need a few drops of the liquid to your dog’s water and let it do the magic. Sadly, because of their hypersensitive nose, some dogs are not fond of its smell and taste.
Ever heard of antlers for dogs? Chewing an antler is basically massaging their gums and teeth that remove plaque and food particles. You can give them antlers at least twice a month and you are good to go. In choosing antlers, it’s better to get the ones that are naturally shed.
This is most likely your pet’s favourite more than anything else. Some treats are just meant to keep your dog happy, but why don’t you opt for a treat that also helps their oral health? Pick a treat that’s tasty and chewy and your dog will surely love you even more.
Professional Dental Cleaning
What better way to keep your dog’s dental health in check than by taking them to the vet? The best way to ensure that their oral health is not at risk is through routine checkup. The checkup will include a physical exam among other things. If necessary, the doctor might also recommend a professional dental cleaning.
Lastly, brush their teeth regularly if you can. Some dogs are not comfortable when their mouth is being touched so be gentle in doing so. For safety purposes, use products such as toothpaste and toothbrush that are specifically manufactured for dogs.
To make your toothbrushing routine easier, here are some tips that you might find helpful:
- Set a schedule. By doing so, your dog will get accustomed to the routine and eventually learn to stay calm during the whole process.
- Prepare the needed materials. The toothbrush and toothpaste must be within your reach to avoid prolonged cleaning.
- Make them comfortable. It doesn’t matter what their position is, as long as your dog is comfortable, cleaning your dog’s teeth will be easier for you.
- Are they ready? Don’t just start all of a sudden, make sure that your dog is ready by rubbing your finger in their gums.
- How about the toothpaste? Your dog must like the smell of toothpaste. If they don’t, you will have a hard time keeping them still.
- Clean thoroughly. Once you’re all set, clean their teeth gently. Brush the plaque in the front and back part of their teeth.
- Keep smiling. Even though they are moody and unwilling at first, be patient and reassure them that you are not going to cause them any harm.
Signs of Poor Oral Health
So how will you know if your dog is in need of medical attention due to poor dental health? Listed below are the indicators that you need to take them to the vet immediately:
- They are starting to exhibit bad breath.
- Their chewing and biting habits are changing.
- Frequently placing their paws in their face or mouth.
- Signs of depression.
- Drooling excessively.
- Their teeth are misaligned.
- Missing teeth.
- Teeth are discoloured, cracked, or chipped.
- The gums of your dog are bleeding, swelling, or reddish.
- Yellow tartar (can be found in between the teeth and gums)
- Abnormal growths inside the mouth
If these symptoms are starting to manifest, it’s time to give your doctor a call. Some of these might be a cause of an underlying health condition that needs to be diagnosed right away.