Dog Dental Care Tips

Brown dog panting with tongue and bottom set of teeth showing

When you first bring home your puppy, teeth are at the forefront of everything. From learning to use sharp puppy teeth to curbing the chewing that comes with teething, much of your dog's early life is centred around what they can and cannot bite. However, as your dog gets older, this focus changes, and it's easy to lose track of your dog's dental care. Keeping up with your dog's dental hygiene doesn't have to be hard. Here are some easy steps you can take to help maintain your friend's pearly whites.

The Importance of Dog Dental Care

You already know that your dog needs a good quality food, access to fresh water, plenty of exercise and all your love, but it's easy to forget about dog dental care. It may seem odd to think about brushing your dogs teeth, but dog dental hygiene is a critical part of keeping them healthy.

Not taking care of your dog's teeth can lead to serious health consequences, including increased risk of heart disease, complications for conditions like diabetes, broken or rotting teeth and pain from gum inflammation and abscesses. Signs that your dog may have developed a dental problem include persistent bad breath, visibly broken or cracked teeth, a reduced appetite, bleeding and swelling in the mouth and a refusal to let you see in or touch their mouth.

Tips on Keeping Your Dog's Teeth Clean

Whether you're already dealing with stinky breath and other oral issues or you just want to get a head start on keeping your puppy's teeth in good shape, creating an oral health care routine for your dog is key. Here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to your dog's dental hygiene.

Brush Teeth Regularly

Just like with humans, brushing canine teeth on a regular basis is the most important thing you can do to keep your dog's mouth healthy. You can get good tooth brushing habits started early by making it a part of your puppy's routine from the very beginning. However, if you have an older dog who isn't used to having their teeth brushed, you may have to work up to it to help them get comfortable with the process. Make sure to use a dog-safe toothpaste, and consider using a finger brush if your dog doesn't like having an actual brush in their mouth.

Provide Dental Treats That Promote Oral Health

Chewing is an instinctive behaviour for dogs, and you can take advantage of this by providing dental treats and chews that do double duty by giving your dog a reward for good behaviour and helping clean their teeth and freshen their breath. Purina's DentaLife dental treats are a great option that help reduce tartar buildup and plaque on your dog's teeth, and they come in a variety of different sizes.

Keep Up With Your Dog's Annual Well Checks

Most veterinarians recommend that your dog come in for an overall status check on their health — and any needed vaccinations — at least once a year, and as part of these exams, the vet will check the health of your dog's teeth and gums. These exams can help identify underlying oral issues such as underbites, gum inflammation or abscesses that may need additional treatment.

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