As a caring and loving pet parent, your biggest responsibility is to keep your pet healthy. However, this doesn’t just mean his body. His teeth are also vitally important to his overall wellbeing. Many studies have shown that poor oral hygiene is a contributing factor in many different medical problems for both humans and animals alike. If you fail to take adequate care of your canine companion’s teeth, you can put him at risk of developing painful dental issues such as cavities and periodontal disease, and chronic health conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Prioritizing your dog’s dental health is a no-brainer if you want him to live a long, happy and healthy life. To help you understand what you can do to help, here are our top tips on the best way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy.
1. Brush his teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth may seem like a ridiculous notion, but it is actually the very best thing that you can do for his oral health. The bacteria that accumulate on his teeth from the food that he eats (as well as the things that he eats and probably shouldn’t!) forms plaque that eats away at his teeth a layer at a time unless it is removed. Your furbaby may need a little encouragement the first few times you brush his teeth, but after a while it will form a natural part of his routine. Make sure you use pet-specific toothpaste as human varieties are toxic to animals.
2. Visit our veterinarian regularly
Only our vet has the knowledge and training necessary to perform proper dental checks on your pet. Spotting any potential problems early is essential for prompt treatment and to prevent them from becoming a painful, expensive and even life-threatening concern.
3. Book professional dental cleans
While at-home brushing is essential for the day to day care of your dog’s teeth, a professional clean should be scheduled with our vet once or twice per year. This is performed while your pet is under a general anesthetic which enables our vet to do a thorough clean of all areas of your dog’s mouth without causing him stress or anxiety. Putting your animal to sleep for the process is also much safer as they cannot move and hurt themselves. Our vet will recommend a schedule of professional cleans, but once every six or twelve months is usually sufficient.
4. Ensure he drinks plenty of water
Although saliva is your pet’s natural defence against the bacteria in his mouth, drinking plenty of water will also help wash away any leftover food or bacteria that may be stuck between his teeth. Your furbaby will also benefit from increased hydration which is important for healthy teeth and gums.
5. Give dental treats
There are dozens of different dog treats on the market that are designed specifically with the purpose of improving your pet’s dental health. These range from chew toys to actual edible sticks and biscuits that contain enzymes that target oral bacteria.
6. Opt for dry food as often as you can
While some dogs are averse to dry food, when it comes to dental health, it is proven to be better for your canine’s teeth. This is because it is less likely to stick to them after eating. The crunchy, abrasive nature of dry food actually helps to eliminate oral bacteria as well as strengthening his teeth and gums.
Our veterinarian is your best support when it comes to keeping your pet’s teeth as healthy as they can be. For further advice or to schedule a check-up for your furbaby, please do not hesitate to call.