If you have a dog or a new puppy, this dental care article will help you choose the right dog dental treatments, from dog toothbrushes and dog toothpaste to dog chew toys. We will explain how each dog dental item works to improve your dog's tooth care.
Dental health for our dogs is a very important aspect of dog healthcare, if you keep up a good dental routine you won’t need visits to the vet for scale treatments or the more invasive tooth extraction as they age – these are all very common procedures but they can be prevented if good hygiene is practised with your pet. Bad dental hygiene has also been linked to life-threatening infections, gum disease and other diseases including heart, liver and kidney disease. So in short, good dog dental hygiene will not only help with that bad doggy breath, but it can also extend your dog’s life!
There are a few different ways in which good dog dental hygiene can be kept; this can be through any of the following:
• Frequent brushing of your dog’s teeth with a dog toothpaste
• Dog Toys, such as KONG's Weave Knots Pig chew toy, help remove and reduce plaque and tartar build-up
• Dog treats, specifically designed for dental are fantastic. Large dogs will love to munch on Whimzees' Natural Rice Bone Dog Treats whilst smaller dogs will be fond of Turkey Flavoured Nylabone Snacks, which encourage chewing and prevent build-up of tartar. If your dog's breath needs refreshing try Forthglades' Fresh Breath Treats. They are grain-free making them great for dogs with sensitive tummies.
Brushing your dog’s teeth
With anything slightly intrusive, it’s always best to start young - but also never too late to start! It’s important to introduce teeth brushing to your dog slowly, let your dog or puppy lick some of the dog toothpaste off the brush to start (it is very important to only use toothpaste designed especially for dogs, human toothpaste can be poisonous to dogs). You can try beef flavoured Arm & Hammer Dog Toothpaste to make it more fun! Give them plenty of praise always; you could also have some of their favourite treats ready as a reward.
Alternatively, you can slowly introduce the idea of brushing your dog's teeth by using Beaphar Tooth Gel. It's effective without brushing making it perfect for cats and dogs that aren’t used to having their teeth brushed.
When you first start brushing your dogs teeth, try not to add too much pressure to the brush – firstly so your dog can get used to the feeling and secondly because your dog has never had its teeth brushed before it may cause some slight gum bleeding where the gum condition is poor, this will stop after a good routine has been established. We would recommend brushing every day to build up healthy gums and reduce build up plaque and tartar. Use a 3 sided Arm & Hammer Dog Toothbrush to cover the whole tooth and gum line, allowing an even and thorough cleaning for even the wriggliest of dogs.
If your dog's not so keen on brushing, try adding some of TropiClean Oral Care Water Additive to their bowl.
Dog chew toys and dental treats
Dog Chew toys and dental treats from brands like Whimzees are a less invasive way of keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Dog toys are usually designed with ridges and edges so the teeth scrape along these surfaces removing loose tarter and plaque. Some dog chew toys incorporate treats. Trixie's Dog Rubber Snack Ball can be filled with your dog's favourite snacks creating extra long-lasting playing fun and supporting healthy digestion and gums! others are designed to be played with, via catching or chasing.
Treats and chews to avoid include stag horns, buffalo horn and real bone – these can actually cause your dog’s teeth to chip (domestic dog's teeth are a lot weaker than their wolf ancestors) – these chips can then create a site for even more plaque and tartar to grow!