How to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

A big part of keeping your dog healthy overall includes keeping your dog’s teeth healthy.

As dog moms and dads, we all want our dogs to be as healthy and as happy as possible. But, unfortunately, many of the best dog parents overlook or forget about their dog’s oral health, and that can be problematic for many reasons. Not only can oral health problems lead to infections inside the mouth, but the infections can spread throughout your dog’s body, leading to a whole host of other health problems. But, for some pet owners, providing their pet with the dental care they need can be easier said than done. That’s why our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens has come up with these tips for keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy:

#1. Brush your dog’s teeth!

One of the best things you can do to take care of your dog’s oral health is to brush their teeth. Typically, it’s not necessary to brush your dog’s teeth every day, but the more you do it, the better off they’ll be. At first, your dog may not like it, and it may not feel like the most natural thing in the world, but you and your dog will both get used to it over time. Here’s a little, step-by-step guide to make brushing your dog’s teeth just a bit easier.

  1. Pick the right toothbrush – There are many toothbrush options available, including those long, thin toothbrushes and toothbrushes that fit right over your finger. Finger brushes are preferred by many dog parents, because they are easier to control when you have to balance holding a toothbrush with keeping your dog’s mouth open.
  2. Pick the right toothpaste – Never use toothpaste designed for humans for your dog, as it contains harmful chemicals that can put your dog in danger if swallowed. Toothpastes designed specially for dogs are not only safe, but they are often flavored like salmon, bacon or other treats dogs love, which will make the experience a bit better for your pup. Be sure to let your dog taste a small amount of the toothpaste before putting it in their mouth.
  3. Let your dog get used to you taking care of their teeth – If you’ve never put your fingers in or around your dog’s mouth before, and one day, you suddenly shove a toothbrush in there, they probably won’t be too happy about it. Get your pet used to the idea that you’ll be brushing their teeth by rubbing their teeth with gauze or even just your finger at first. Once they get acclimated, then switch to a toothbrush.
  4. Be gentle when brushing – Don’t brush your dog’s teeth too vigorously. Instead, use gentle, circular motions to clean their teeth, paying special attention to the canines and upper molars, as these teeth tend to have more tartar buildup than other teeth. Your dog probably won’t let you clean the inside of their teeth, but cleaning the cheek-facing surfaces will go a long way.
  5. Reward your dog – One of the best things you can do to get your dog used to regular teeth brushings is to make it a point to reward them every time you brush their teeth. This way, your dog will associate getting their teeth brushed with getting a treat or another reward.

#2. Be mindful about the kind of food you give your dog.

Up until a few years ago, most people’s dogs lived off of kibble their owners bought at the grocery store, and not much thought was given into what kind of ingredients were going into dog food. But, dog owners today are much more conscious about what their dogs are eating. Not only is this important for your dog’s overall health, but believe it or not, the quality of food you’re giving your dog also has an impact on their oral health. Dog foods that contain cereal grains and by-products are more likely to stick to your dog’s teeth, causing plaque and eventually tartar to form. Ideally, your dog should be fed a diet that consists of a variety of whole, natural foods, but barring that, look for foods that don’t contain by-products or cereal grains to keep your dog’s teeth healthy.

When at-home dental care won’t cut it, turn to your neighborhood veterinarian at The Vet Set.

Dental care at home is essential for preventing oral health problems, including gum disease; however, if your dog has already developed a dental issue, at-home dental care won’t cut it anymore. In cases like these, your best bet is to talk to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. And, luckily, our veterinarian in Carroll Gardens provides professional dental care for pets! Schedule your appointment today!

In our next blog, we’ll be going over a few more helpful tips for keeping your dog’s teeth clean at home, so be sure to stay tuned!

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