Does your precious pooch have breath you could smell from a mile away? This could be a sign of underlying dental problems. Many of us don’t give much thought to canine oral care. However, did you know 85% of dogs will develop periodontal disease by age 3? Here at Spring Dental, we believe quality oral care shouldn’t be limited to humans alone!
In honor of our furry family members, we’re here to discuss some tips and tricks to help you avoid costly trips to the veterinarian and, most importantly, extend the life of your pet! Just like humans, our pets also need comprehensive dental exams. Keep in mind, these tips are not supposed to supersede annual dental checkups and cleanings. Home treatments alone will not be able to fix excessive tartar buildup, tooth decay or periodontal disease! Check out the list below for our recommendations:
- Make sure to brush your pet’s teeth once a day (or every other day.) Be sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste made exclusively for dogs, as human products include ingredients that are not safe for animals. If they are hesitant or scared, ease them into the process by first starting with your finger and letting them taste the toothpaste. Don’t forget to reward them with healthy treats when they are compliant to reinforce good behavior!
- Brushing your pet’s teeth is very similar to brushing your own. Start toward the back in circular motions and slowly make your way to the front of their mouth. Slight bleeding along the gumline is normal, especially during the early phases of consistent brushing. However, heavier bleeding could indicate health problems you cannot fix at home. Be sure to consult your veterinarian if extreme bleeding occurs.
- Try to brush for at least 2 minutes in order to focus properly on each tooth. If the dog is constantly pulling away, don’t force the process. Start in smaller time increments and work toward building up to the full 2 minutes. Make sure to speak softly to your dog throughout the entire process to provide reassurance, comfort and build trust.
Prevent further plaque buildup after brushing by giving your dog dental chews and bones. Not only will these chews keep your pooch active, but they will also scrape off excessive tartar and plaque buildup you could miss by brushing alone!
Can you imagine not brushing your teeth for multiple days, weeks or even years? You love your pets like family, be sure to properly address their healthcare needs with love and attention. Trust us, you’ll notice a drastic change for the better in their health and behavior!