Tips for Keeping Your Dog's Teeth Healthy
We know that brushing your teeth is important to maintain general good health. Having healthy teeth and gums reduces the risk of everything from developing an abscessed tooth to Alzheimer's disease. It's also critical for our pets to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent serious health problems. Unfortunately, you can't teach your dog to brush his teeth before bed every night. Instead, you have to do the heavy lifting. Here are 5 tips for keeping your dog's teeth healthy.
If you're not brushing your dog's teeth, you're not alone. It takes time, effort, and special tools to keep your dog's breath minty-fresh, but it's the price we pay to keep our furry friends with us as long as possible. The tools are not part of your typical bathroom accessories; they require a special double-headed toothbrush and toothpaste (in dog-friendly flavors -- chicken, liver, beef, and seafood) and, just like humans, they need their teeth brushed every day.
Brushing your dog's teeth means your dog needs to be comfortable with you handling his mouth. For older dogs, it may take some training time to get into the habit, but if you have a puppy, now is the time to get started. They're young and impressionable, so getting them to open up their mouths for a little tooth massage isn't that tough.
You don't have to use a standard dog toothbrush. A child's toothbrush can work for your dog if it fits your dog's mouth. There are also finger toothbrushes, which are little plastic cylinders with a brush at the tip to make brushing your pup's teeth a little bit easier for you. There are also microfiber finger brushes which are basically like finger cots made of cloth so you can just stick your finger in your dog's mouth and feel his teeth as you wipe away the plaque and bacteria. With that idea in mind, you could start brushing your dog's teeth with a washcloth or rag wrapped around your finger to try it out.
Large bones for your dog to gnaw on reduce plaque significantly, but they should be raw bones because cooked bones tend to splinter. Dogs also have a natural instinct to chew, so this steers them away from chewing on your favorite handbags or shoes around the house, as well as keeping their jaws strong and teeth clean. Rawhide is a good substitute for bones to keep your dog's teeth healthy.
If you have an older dog and have never brushed his teeth, you have the option of taking him to the vet to have his teeth professionally cleaned. The vet may put your dog under anesthesia, which can be very expensive. However, there are some vets do anesthesia-free teeth cleaning which is significantly less pricey. The vet can really clean up your dog's teeth and remove plaque and tartar to reveal shockingly white teeth, but it is a temporary fix and you need to do maintenance work between visits.
At The Lakeside Collection, our furry friends are members of the family so we do our best to keep them happy and healthy. From tips to keeping your dog's teeth clean to toys only cats find entertaining, look to Lakeside to delight any member of your family.