Just like people, dogs can develop a variety of painful—and sometimes dangerous—dental troubles. Taking care of Fido’s teeth is crucial to his health and well-being! In this article, a Burlington, ON vet discusses doggy dental care.
Brushing your pet’s teeth is really the best way to keep them healthy. Ideally, you’ll want to start while Fido is young, so he grows up accustomed to having his teeth cleaned. However, you can still train an older dog to accept the toothbrush. Get a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Choose a flavored toothpaste to make the process more appealing for your pooch. At first, just get Fido used to having his teeth and gums rubbed. Then, start adding a little toothpaste. Offer your pup treats and praise, so he forms a positive association with the experience. Finally, you can incorporate the toothbrush. You don’t have to brush all of Fido’s teeth every day. Just do one quadrant at a time, and keep rotating.
Some dogs just won’t sit still to let you brush their teeth. If your pet is one of them, ask your vet about other doggy dental products. Oral rinses can help, as can dental-formula kibble, treats, and chews. You can even get dental ‘flakes’ that you can sprinkle into Fido’s food.
Did you know that chewing is actually good for Fido’s oral health? It keeps his jaw muscles strong, and can help remove plaque and tartar. It also stimulates the flow of saliva, which can rinse away food particles. Make sure your canine buddy always has suitable chew toys.
Dental checkups are just as important for dogs as they are for people! Have your furry friend’s choppers examined at least once a year. You’ll also want to schedule an exam if you notice any signs of dental trouble. Some common ones are bad breath; visible swelling or tartar buildup; bloody smears on toys or dishes; reduced appetite; changes in eating habits; lack of interest in play; and grumpiness.
Last but not least, make sure Fido always has fresh, clean water. This is of course important for many reasons, but it’s also crucial to his oral health.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Call us, your Burlington, ON pet clinic. We are here to help!