3 Simple Steps for Doggy Dental Care

Best Evie PicIf you ask the average dog owner how they’re taking care of their dog’s teeth, many  won’t have an answer. So it’s no surprise that a lot of dogs begin showing signs of gum disease before they’re five years old.

Taking care of your dogs mouth doesn’t have to be a daily travail. It’s as simple as:

1. Making sure they have chew toys

Chewing is nature’s way of ensuring that dogs keep their teeth free from the bacteria and plaque-forming foods that can build-up on their teeth and harden into tartar—that can eventually lead to gingivitis, receding gums, and tooth loss.

Having chew toys or treats that are formulated to clean a dog’s teeth is a great way to kick that bacteria to the curb.

2. Occasionally check your dog’s mouth

Everyone knows that a dog’s breath isn’t exactly perfume, but it’s important to know that really foul smelling breath can be a sign that all is not well in your dog’s mouth.

It’s important to occasionally lift his lip and take a look at his teeth and gums. You want to see nice pink gums and clean white teeth. If the gums are excessively red or whitish, or the teeth are starting to develop brownish tartar, he needs some attention.

If you notice loose, crooked, missing, or broken teeth, bumps or growths in his mouth, or a build up of yellowish tartar along the gum line, it’s important to get him in to see a vet.

3. Brushing your dog’s teeth

Many websites will tell you to brush your dog’s teeth every day. That’s up to you, but you’ll probably want to at least do it a couple times a week.

It’s best to start when they’re puppies so they can get used to the idea of a foreign object in their mouth, but it’s not too difficult to get an older dog comfortable with it, too.

Start by periodically massaging your dog’s teeth and gums with a finger. When she’s comfortable with that, you can introduce the tooth brush. Don’t over do it the first couple times.

Remember, do not use human toothpaste on your pet. Many toothpastes include fluoride which is very dangerous to your pet. You can pick up special dog toothpaste from most pet supply stores.

Letting your dog’s dental care go can create big (and expensive) problems down the road—but a little attention and care can go a long way.

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