What You Need to Know About Doggy Dental Health
Updated: Jan 8
Why Does Their Dental Health Matter?
As a pet parent, you want your dog to be happy and healthy. Just like they say eyes are the window to the soul, oral health is the window to your dog's overall health. Dental care is critical for your dog's health for many reasons. First, think about it; dental pain is uncomfortable. When a dog has a toothache or sore gums, they can't tell you about it. They have to endure extra pain and stress that they shouldn't have to worry about (not to mention bad breath). Second, bad oral health leads to organ damage. Bacteria from plaque in the mouth are sent to the kidneys and heart via the bloodstream. Additionally, periodontal disease can cause severe health issues. Periodontal disease is when there is infection and inflammation of the gums. This build-up of plaque can cause an infection deeply rooted into the tooth socket. The infection forces the tooth to fall out over time. Fortunately, periodontal disease is completely preventable.
How to Keep Their Teeth Clean
The most effective way to keep up your dog's dental hygiene at home is by brushing their teeth. Unfortunately, many dogs who aren't exposed to brushing their teeth as a puppy won't like it. It's important to expose dogs to brushing their teeth young, but that's not always possible. At least a few days a week, take five minutes to brush their teeth with a dog-safe toothpaste. Make sure to use our Amazon link for a portion of the proceeds to benefit our nonprofit programs!
2. Dental Treats
Dental treats freshen breath, clean teeth, and help remove plaque and tartar. From Greenies to Whimzees, there are so many excellent options for a dental treat. This takes essentially no work from you and food motivated dogs love them.
3. Dental Wipes
Dental wipes contain antimicrobials that work to reduce plaque and other buildup while stopping bad breath. Carefully and gently swipe the wipe around the teeth while massaging the gums.
4. Chew Toys
Chews, like Nylabones, are specially designed for dental health. Dogs have a natural urge to chew, so Nylabones take advantage of this trait through their design of raised bristles that scrape away at plaque and tartar. Even the abrasive action of a bone, antler, or bully stick can be helpful for dental health. Similarly, rope toys are great for dental hygiene. The frayed ends of rope toys help by acting as floss as the dogs chews on it.
5. Professional Cleanings
In-depth teeth cleanings under anesthesia by your veterinarian cleans and polishes spots on your dog's teeth that no toothbrush, treat, wipe, or chew could ever reach. Most dogs will need their teeth professionally cleaned multiple times throughout their life, but it is an expensive procedure. To avoid teeth cleanings needing to be performed regularly, take preventative action like brushing their teeth, feeding dental treats, using a dental wipe, or giving chew toys regularly.
Just like in humans, dental health for dogs is super important. Over 80% of dogs over the age of three suffer from dental disease, so do your part to prevent tartar build-up by following these steps!