Are you worried about your dogs teeth and dental health? Is plaque and tarter building up on your dogs teeth?
Statistics suggest that over 80% of dogs have some degree of dental disease by the time they are 3 years old. Having a look at your dog's teeth and regularly vet check up is only one way to keep track of your dogs dental health. It is also essential that you take steps to keep his teeth clean in between vet visits. It will also be a lot cheaper if the vet think your dog may need a tooth clean.
When to start looking after your dogs teeth
At 8 weeks of age, your puppy should have a full set of sharp little baby teeth. You don't really need to care for there teeth but you could start getting him used to you toughing his teeth and gums. This will help you clean them later.
These baby teeth will start falling out at around 4 months of age and by 7 months he’ll have all of his permanent teeth. Take care of these teeth as your dog will have them forever, hopefully.
Signs of dental problems in dogs
Your dog can't tell you if he has a tooth ache, so look for signs of dental problems. If your dog may be displaying any of the following, take him to the vet for a dental checkup:
- Bad breath
- Change in eating or dog chewing habits
- Pawing at the face or mouth
- Excessive drooling
- Misaligned or missing teeth
- Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth
- Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
- Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
- Bumps or growths within the mouth
Us humans are more prone to cavities that our dogs but they can still develop problems like tartar and plaque buildup and gum disease.
How to preventing plaque and tartar buildup in dogs
Poor dental health can lead to other, more serious health concerns including heart, liver, and kidney disease. Good teeth and dental care will ensure your dog stays happy and healthy. Here are some way that you can maintain your dogs dental health.
1. Dry food is better for your dogs teeth
Wet dog food is more likely to stick to your dogs teeth that dry kibble dog food. You may wish to try him on a dry dog food if your dog will not let you brush his teeth. This will of course depend on which sort of food you prefer to feed your dog for his overall health. If you choose a wet food diet, then there are other methods that you can use to care for his teeth.
2. Healthy teeth additives
Water additives can be added to your pet’s drinking water and work to reduce tartar forming on your dogs teeth. Additives work best as a prevention, so should be introduced before your dog starts to develop tartar.
>> Check out prices for Dog Dental Water Additives on Amazon
3. Doggy Dental Chews
Greenies are long time favorite of mine. Greenies Canine Dental Chews are proven to clean dogs' teeth by fighting both plaque and tartar buildup, freshening breath, and maintaining healthier teeth and gums. Designed for daily treating, our dental chews are low in fat and nutritionally complete for adult dogs.
GREENIES Dental Chews for Dogs have The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance for plaque and tartar control so make a good choice for your dogs dental health.
>> Check out prices for Greenies Dental Chews on Amazon
How to remove tartar from dogs teeth
Chewing is great for both your dogs mental and dental health. It helps to keep him occupied, engaged as well as removing buildup on his teeth and massaging his gums.
You may need to find the most appropriate chew toy for your dog depending on his size and jaw strength. Some bones and chew toys are especially designed to clean teeth and gums. Ensure the toys is safe for your dog and does not splinter or choke your dog.
1. Dental Chew Toys
Dental chew toys are designed to provide dental stimulation while helping to satisfy a dog's natural urge to chew. Toys help to clean teeth, control plaque and tartar buildup and massage your dog's gums for general oral health.
>> Check out prices for Nylabone Dental Chew Toy on Amazon
2. Brushing your dog’s teeth
Not as easy as it sounds..... actually for some dogs this will be quite difficult. But, it is well worth a try to keep your dog's teeth healthy and prevent serious dental work later in life. You will need:
- A doggy toothbrush
- Doggy toothpaste
- Lots of planning patience and luck
This might take some practice but here are some hints to try and make it a bit easier:
- Try this after exercise when your dog is nice and tired - and hopefully not grumpy!
- Start with short brushes until your dog gets used to it. Maybe just his front teeth at first
- Talk calmly in a friendly tone
- Reward your dog with a treat, nice pat or walk afterwards
Do NOT use human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at most good pet stores or here.
Doggy Dental starter kit
If you are starting out with brushing your dogs teeth, you may wish to purchase a combo kit like this, the Doggy Dental Starter Kit.
>> Check out prices for the Doggy Dental Starter Kit on Amazon
If you find that your dog loves a good tooth brushing and you continue to do this, ensure you get a good doggy toothpaste and dog specific toothbrush.
Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste - Poultry Flavor
>> Check out prices for Doggy Toothpaste on Amazon
Dog Toothbrush with Double head (2 pack)
>> Check out prices for doggy toothbrushes on Amazon
Dental sprays or gels for doggy dental care
A dental spray or gel can effectively reduce dental plaque, tartar build-up, bad dog breath without brushing. TruDog Gel Me is an all-natural and holistic dental gel made from essential oils which target tartar and bad breath at their source. TruDog Gel me synergistically bonds with your pets saliva to completely coat their entire mouth with a couple of applications weekly.
>> Check out prices for Tru Dog Dental Care on Amazon
Vet check ups for dental health
Dental care at the vet can be very expensive, particularly if you dogs need to have surgery. If you can maintain your dogs dental health with good, regular maintenance can will potentially save your self a lot of money in the long run.
Here is a great vid on doggy dental care which also show you have to brush pooch's teeth.