National Pet Dental Health Month: 5 Tips for Optimal Doggie Dental Care

Ensuring your dog’s dental hygiene is just as important as taking care of their other needs. The buildup of plaque can cause tooth decay and cavities that can leave your pet in intense pain and lead to other serious health problems down the road. As February is "National Pet Dental Health Month", we'd like to make you aware of some of the issues that can effect your beloved pooch, but also provide you with tips that can help you keep your pup's dental issues at bay. Here are 5 tips to help your dog maintain a healthy oral environment.

1) Brush Away and Every Day!
For many, the thought of brushing your pet’s teeth on a daily basis may sound absurd, but doing so can greatly help break down the plaque in their teeth and prevent future bacteria buildup.

If you and your dog are not used to regular brushing, you can train them through this process with positive reinforcement. If they can sit through nail-trimming, they can definitely tolerate 5 minutes of teeth brushing every day. Try using a toothbrush that is tailored to the size of your canine's mouth and teeth. Make sure to brush the teeth in every direction and reach as far back as you can. 

Never use human grade toothpaste that you would use to brush your teeth because it contains fluoride. Purchase toothpaste at your local pet shop that is specifically made for dogs. They often come in delicious flavors like chicken, peanut butter, or mint and the flavor helps to make the process a little easier.  

2) Dog Dental Treats
Take advantage of your pup's infinite love for sweet treats and give them dental treats instead. These treats are especially manufactured to break down plaque buildup. Dental treats not only freshen up their breath, but they also replace the brushing if you can't get to it on certain days. Dental treats are available in many shapes, sizes, and flavors so you shouldn't have any trouble finding something your pet will like. 

3) Professional Cleaning
A good way to ensure your dog is maintaining good dental hygiene is to ensure they are getting their yearly professional cleaning. You should continue with the dental treats and routine brushing, but it’s important to get these professional cleanings out of the way as the Dentist can remove the plaque and buildup that is often missed. Plus, if there are any severe dental issues such as periodontal disease, your vet can detect and treat it while they are cleaning their teeth. You may find this option expensive, but it’s one of the best ways to ensure your dog’s oral health in maintained.

4) Feed Your Pet Dental Friendly Diet if Recommended
There are several commercial diets that have been shown to improve your pet’s periodontal health compared to regular dry food diets. These dental foods work by using a specialized kibble to provide better mechanical cleansing of the teeth. Ask your veterinarian if a special dental diet is right for your pet.

Your vet is the expert on dental issues and dental hygiene and there’s only so much we can do as pet owners. Sometimes, it’s best to consult an expert so that you can truly make the right choice.

5) Adding Dry Dog Food

Try mixing your dog's soft food with a crunchy kibble as soft mushy food is more likely to stick in between their teeth and cause rot.

We understand that maintaining your pup's dental care can be a hassle for anyone, especially for those with busy lifestyles. However, if you follow any of these tips - it can save your pet's health and more expensive dental treatments that could have been avoided.  

Pampered Pets USA would like to wish everyone a happy "National Pet Health Dental Month", so follow these tips and your pup will be on his way to better oral health in no time. 

At Pampered Pets USA, we know you consider your pet to be part of the family and want nothing but the best for them. We are here to provide you with accurate and updated information that will help you give your furry friend a healthy and happy life.

Author: Michelle Anastasio-Festi

Photo Credit: American Kennel Club