Healthy Dog Teeth Tips
By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Danielle Merritt
Sure, we humans are excellent about keeping our teeth healthy for the most part, but what about our furry friends?
Not taking care of your dog’s teeth can lead to stinky breath and even bigger problems like cancer.
Here are the top ten products that will ensure your dog’s teeth are healthy and in tip-top shape:
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Toys with lots of bumps and ridges are helpful in getting some of the plaque off your dog’s teeth. If your dog is one that enjoys chewing on toys, pick up an assortment at your local pet retailer or online.
This seems like the most obvious tool to keep your dog’s teeth clean. After all, humans use a toothbrush at least twice a day. In reality, however, many people neglect to brush their dogs’ teeth. Little do they know that this is the most important part of a dog’s dental care. They either don’t think it’s necessary or are too intimidated to do so because they don’t want to get bitten. The trick is to expose your dog to teeth brushing at the youngest age possible. Some people find it easiest to use a finger brush to get the fronts and backs of all those dog choppers. Also, if you’re afraid of getting bitten, you can buy a toothbrush with an extra long handle so that your hand is as far away from your dog’s mouth as possible. Another option is to have a professional do it – just be warned that it is likely that the professional will give your dog anesthesia.
If you are unfamiliar with brushing your pet’s teeth, it is likely that your are unfamiliar that they require different toothpaste than humans. These dog toothpastes are safe to be swallowed and come in a variety of flavors, such as mint, peanut butter, and even beef, so pick up a flavor that you think will entice your dog. Toothpaste for dogs can be found at any pet retailer and online.
7. Finger Toothbrush
A finger toothbrush is only recommended if your dog is extremely comfortable with getting its teeth brushed – you don’t want to stick your finger inside of your dog’s mouth and get bitten – even unintentionally. An advantage of a finger toothbrush over a regular one is that it allows you to better utilize the strength of your finger to scrub the plaque off your dog’s teeth. It also offers better precision as you’ll have more control over where the brush goes than you will if you’re using a toothbrush that extends inches out of your dog’s mouth.
6. Rawhide Bones
Rawhide bones are an excellent thing to give your dog in between teeth brushings, and dogs go crazy for them! They won’t stain your dog’s teeth. Instead, your dog’s constant gnawing on this tough treat will help scrub the plaque off of its teeth. They come in an assortment of sizes, so buy one that suits your dog the best.
Fluoride is a must, especially for those that don’t get teeth brushing often enough. Fluoride should be added every time you give your dog fresh water. A little bit goes a long way – you only need about a teaspoon of fluoride for every eight ounces of water or so. Fluoride can be found at any pet retailer or online.
4. Dental Chews
Dental chews like a sturdy knucklebone benefit your dog’s teeth and gums while fighting plaque, tartar, and bad breath. Your dog is bound to like something he is allowed to chew, so it doubles as a treat. This is a great and yummy way to keep your dog’s plaque at bay!
3. Dental Foam
This is another great option for those that brush their dogs’ teeth sparingly. Some foams strictly combat bad breath, however, there are others that fight plaque and tartar as well. Foams are great because they expand and cover a wide surface area. One to two pumps on each side of your dog’s mouth is all that is needed.
2. Dental Gel
Dental gel is really great because it is thick and will cover a nice layer of teeth and really work its way into the plaque. One great way to get your dog to use it is to rub it all over your dog’s favorite treat, perhaps a rawhide bone. That way, the gel will thoroughly coat the teeth and will be further utilized with the constant scraping of your dog’s teeth against the rawhide bone.
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One of the biggest reasons why an owner may neglect a dog’s teeth health by not brushing its teeth is because the task is too difficult to conquer. An array of things go wrong, from the dog biting to the dog squirming so much that nothing can be accomplished. Reinforcement can make this task easier and easier every time. Talk very sweetly to your dog while brushing its teeth, letting your dog know that this is a good thing. When finished, praise your dog. Give your dog a treat (like a dental chew) or take your dog for a nice walk. You’ll soon see that your dog may even look forward to teeth brushing!
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