- Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
- Prevent from Eating Sweets
- Maintain Proper Dental Hygiene
- Introduce a New Type of Diet
- Professional Dental Cleaning by Vet
Without strong healthy teeth, the quality of life decreases regardless whether you are a dog or a human.
Oral health is very important for both man and dog because not only do we use our mouths to communicate (to talk or bark), our mouth is our main passageway for nutritious food!
Being unable to chew our food properly can greatly affect all of us physically and mentally (i.e. stress), thus decreasing our quality of life.
For animals such as dogs, it is much worse because they just can’t just drop by a dentist. Our dogs are dependent on us for their dental care.
To add to this, when it comes to teeth, the less teeth a dog has, the weaker your dog will become. In other words, the less teeth your dog has, the lower the quality of life.
Therefore to prevent major dental problems for our pets, it is best to keep our pet’s teeth clean! Continue reading if you want to learn how…
How to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean?
Most people would say to brush your dog’s teeth.
Yes; brushing your dog’s teeth seems like the most obvious solution.
However, what most people don’t take into account is the fact it is not easy to brush a dog’s teeth. In fact, many dogs do not like getting their teeth brushed.
Nonetheless, some dog owners literally have to wrestle their dogs just to brush their teeth. Some dogs will literally run away at the sight of a toothbrush in their owner’s hands!
Therefore, having to brush your dog’s teeth can be unrealistic even for the most caring and disciplined owners. So what can we really do?
Prevention is Key to Maintaining Dental Hygiene
First, you can try training your dog.
To this, you have to slowly accustom your dog to get it used to having a brush in its mouth. Then after it’s brushing session is done, you give it a nice dental treat. But then again, this is not easy to do!
Second, do not allow your dog try not to eat any sugary foods.
Dog’s that don’t eat sugar will have much better dental hygiene than dogs that do eat sugar. This is because sugars (glucose, lactose, fructose, and maltose) will disrupt the PH level in your dog’s mouth and turn it into an acidic environment. Anything less than 5.5 PH will start to dissolve your tooth’s enamel. (Source)
Sugar causes human teeth to decay and it will definitely do the same for the teeth of dogs. Therefore, don’t give your dogs candy, cake, or any processed sweets.
But let’s be real; dogs find many ways to steal cookies from the cookie jar and sometimes we give in to our dogs and give them a bite out of our cheesecakes and such. So what do we do to keep our dog’s teeth clean?
How to Keep your Dog’s Teeth Clean
From personal experience, a dental dog chew toy works best. Giving your dog a dental chew toy is probably the easiest solution to maintaining your dog’s oral health.
There are many types of dental dog chew toys out there but I personally use the Dental Kong.
With a Dental Kong, I stuff some food inside and let my dog get to work on it. It takes my dog on average about 3 minutes of constant chewing to get all the food out of it.
Why I choose the Dental Kong? I like the design of it. Period. It comes in a variety of sizes and it has ridges in each groove that seems to effectively take out plaque which help keep my dog’s teeth clean.
Dried Dog Food Can Actually Help!
Another easy way of keeping your dog’s teeth clean is to feed it dried dog food after your dog consuming something sugary. Some dog foods actually mention on the package that dried dog food helps the oral health of your dog by scrubbing teeth as it chews. Some argue that it’s a marketing myth but I think it works!
Just keep in mind that dried dog food helps if your dogs actually chews on it. If your dog doesn’t chew it’s food, then there will be no point with dried dog food and it’s best to start thinking about getting dental chews or going raw.
The Raw Diet
You ever noticed how animals in the wild have strong healthy teeth? It’s because they eat raw bony meat. So why is raw very significant?
Raw meat contains natural enzymes that can help stop the build up of dental plaque. These enzymes however are actually sensitive to heat so cooking them destroys them and this why some people swear on feeding their dog on the raw diet.
Additionally, raw uncooked bones become natural dental chews so that’s another plus with raw food. (BTW: DO NOT EVER GIVE YOUR DOG COOKED BONES i.e. COOKED CHICKEN BONES! COOKED BONES WILL SPLINTER INTO SHARP PIECES AND CAN KILL YOUR DOG)
My rule of thumb is to give bones that are bigger than their mouths!
If brushing and feeding the raw diet is not your thing, then try purchasing dental chews. Just make sure that your dental chews do not contain any ingredient that can help promote dental plaque because some ironically contain them.
Another problem I find with dental chews is that you need to make sure the chews are larger than your dog’s mouth. If not, your dog will probably just end up gobbling the chew with about two bites, which destroys the whole purpose of the dental chew.
Professional Dental Cleaning?
Some vets offer dental cleaning but I would choose this option depending on the condition of your dog and as a “very last resort”.
Remember, that to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned is to have your dog under anesthesia. This means, there are risks of your pet dying through this procedure so don’t take this option lightly as it is not cheap and can ultimately cost the life your pet.
“I like to share that I had my dog’s teeth professionally cleaned. It was just two weeks rescuing her from an abusive owner. I didn’t know much of her history so I wanted to get a couple x-rays and some blood work just to make sure she’s okay (She’s a GSD and was too nervous during this time to even stay still to get some blood drawn).
So since we were going to anesthetize her for the x-rays, I asked if I can have her teeth cleaned because her teeth were disturbingly yellow considering she was only a year old. The vet agreed and did the dental work together with the x-rays.
Again, putting my dog through anesthesia has its risks so I carefully weighed the benefits and the risks.
Luckily, I benefited more with putting my dog through anesthesia.as I got her teeth cleaned, got the x-ray work that I wanted, and having other medical checks to ensure the well being of my dog.”