February was National Pet Dental Month, but just because it is now March (how did that happen?) doesn’t mean it has to stop. It is very beneficial for your dog’s teeth to be cared for every day. It helps to reduce tartar which helps to reduce the chances of disease and also bad breath. So, today we are going to talk about different ways to keep your doggy’s teeth clean!
Toothbrush and paste
In my opinion, this is the best way to keep your pet’s teeth healthy and tartar free. It only takes a couple minutes each day and has a great outcome. I would say it is the least expensive and most effective way to keep your pet’s teeth clean. Just be sure to use toothpaste that is designed specifically for pets. The toothpaste for humans is not meant to be consumed and since there is no way to get your pet to rinse their mouths out, you should not use it. You can find pet toothpaste and brushes at pet stores or online.
These are processed dog chews that are specially formulated for dental health. A lot of brands make them in cute shapes like toothbrushes or bones. Some are smooth and some have ridges or bumps on them to help rub the teeth better while chewing. Quite a few of them contain parsley or peppermint to help with doggie breath as well.
Hooves, ears, bully sticks and the like can help scrape plaque and tartar off your pet’s teeth while they chew. I can personally vouch for this method, as the first pig ear I ever got took a chunk of tartar off of one of my canines while I was chewing on it. Although, I believe that tartar had been loosed from previous bushings.
There are certain products you can add to your pet’s water to help with dental hygiene. We have not tried this method so we do not know how well it works.
Dental cleanings at the vet
If your pet’s teeth already have a heavy build up of plaque and tartar, it might be a good idea if you had the vet scrape it off for you. They will sedate the pet and may also remove any loose or rotten teeth. Afterwards, you should use one or more of the methods above to keep your pet’s teeth clean so you don’t have to take them back to the vet for another cleaning.
A note on dog chews and dental treats:
It’s a good idea to check to see where the product is made and stay away from products made in China. And, it usually says on the packaging, but I will list it here “that a dog should be supervised when given a chew to make sure they adequately chew it”. Many dogs have choked on chews/dental treats so this is good advice to follow.