Keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy

1. Brush your dog’s teeth

We know, brushing teeth to keep them clean is not revolutionary, but many dog owners skip this because it’s difficult to keep their dog still. Working in a team of 2 can help keep the dog more secure while their teeth are cleaned. If your dog is a puppy, introduce teeth brushing as early as possible so they get used to the sensation. When starting out, reward your dog with a treat when they allow you to brush their teeth. Brush your dog’s teeth three or more times a week, and make sure to only use paste specially for dogs. Toothpaste for humans is poisonous for dogs.

2. Give your dog dental treats

Dental treats, like Greenies and Dentastix, help keep your dog’s teeth cleaner by rubbing plaque off and by freshening their breath. Give your dog 1 dental treat a day to help them maintain a healthy mouth. Make sure to buy dental treats that are appropriate for your dog’s size and that the dog is supervised when eating their treat.

3. Give your dog vegetables and fruits

Crunchy fruits and veggies can act like natural dental treats. Carrots, apples, celery, and small pieces of broccoli are all full of vitamins and clean your pup’s teeth at the same time! I often put a couple baby carrots into a toy like this and have my dog figure out how to get the carrots out. This keeps her entertained and cleans her teeth!

4. Provide your dog with toys that are safe to chew on

Our canine buddies love biting and chewing so much because it releases serotonin. These toys are great for keeping your dog entertained and occupied so they don’t chew on off-limit objects, like shoes. When picking out chew toys for your dog, make sure to select ones that are appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing power. Take a toy away if you see that it gets too small so it doesn’t accidentally get swallowed. Toys like Kongs and edible Nylabones are great options for keeping your dog happy.

5. Inspect your dog’s mouth every week

Check your dog’s teeth and gums every week so you notice if anything changes. You can use DogLog app to keep a long-term log of your pet’s dental health. If your dog has chronically bad breath (like rotten eggs), very yellow or brown teeth, bleeding gums, or have growths on their gums, call your vet to check if your dog has a serious issue.

6. Use dental wipes

If you are having trouble brushing your dog’s teeth, use dental wipes in-between brushings.

7. Get your dog’s teeth professionally clean

As dogs age, many of them will end up needing to get their teeth professionally cleaned. The veterinarian will check for issues with the gums, teeth, roots and more, so that problems can be found before they require serious intervention. Always ask your vet about your dog’s dental health during office visits so that you can stay up-to-date on their needs.

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