You spend time every day carefully brushing and flossing your teeth. You also see your dentist for cleanings. But have you ever thought much about your dog's dental health? Dogs need tooth care too, and if they do not have proper dental care, their teeth can suffer as a result.
Here are some simple things you can do to make sure your dog's teeth stay healthy for a lifetime.
Brush Your Dog's Teeth
Many people don't even think of brushing a dog's teeth, but plaque can build up on dog's teeth just like it can on a human's. You don't have to break out the brush every day, but if you notice your dog's breath is smelling worse than usual, a simple brushing can be a quick fix. Your dog should be raised and trained to expect basic grooming. You can teach your dog that tooth brushing is just as normal as combing fur or trimming nails.
Don't use human toothpaste for dogs. Instead, ask your vet for a toothpaste that is made for dog teeth -- human paste is toxic and will not taste good for your pet. Dog paste has much more pleasing flavors, so it won't be as much of a fight to brush. In fact, some dogs might even look forward to brushing as a treat.
Use Tooth-Healthy Treats
Many dog treats don't do much to help your dog's teeth, and some may even hinder oral health. However, some treats can clean teeth as your dog chews, making them a great choice. Even some chew toys are great for dog teeth. Looks for safe bones and pigs ears that require plenty of chewing, and give these out as your dog wants them. Chewing is often seen as a bad behavior in dogs, but it's very healthy -- you just have to make sure your dog has plenty of safe toys and training to leave people things alone.
Get Teeth Cleaned Professionally
Finally, your dog should see a vet who can do dental cleanings or visit a pet dentist on occasion. Many dogs suffer from gum disease and tooth decay in silence, and you may not even realize your dog has a problem until a professional oral exam. Teeth cleanings catch mouth diseases early and they help to remove build up that you might have missed with the brush.
For more information on keeping your dog's teeth healthy, contact a local animal hospital or surgeon in your area.