7 Tips to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean in Greenville, MI
The first clue that a dog’s teeth need brushing is their breath. It is common to think that dog’s have bad breath, but halitosis is an indicator of tooth and gum issues- even disease. Just as humans are supposed to brush their teeth every day, dogs need to have their teeth brushed every day as well. It can be almost critical for some breeds to have a dental health routine. If this isn’t established, dental health can deteriorate and cause serious problems.
Besides brushing and regular dental appointments, there are several tips to help keep your dog’s teeth clean in Greenville, MI.
1. Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth at Home
Did you know that there is toothpaste for dogs? Yes, there is toothpaste for dogs. It usually comes in chicken or peanut butter flavors. It is very important to use toothpaste made specifically for dogs when brushing your pet’s teeth, as human toothpaste contains toxic substances for dogs such as fluoride. Always use dog toothpaste for dogs. It is also recommended that humans only use human toothpaste, though one might be tempted to try to peanut butter flavor.
There are also dog toothbrushes that fit a dog’s mouth better than a human toothbrush. Not only do they fit a dog’s mouth, but the shapes are easier for the owner to maneuver and get all the dog’s teeth. It can be difficult to get all of a dog’s teeth and gums with a traditional human toothbrush.
If a toothbrush isn’t very comfortable for your dog, even a finger can work at first to rub the toothpaste on their gums. Often this is the first step to training your dog for a teeth brushing routine. There are special finger toothbrushes as well. They fit over the index finger and have silicone bristles that gently brush away any food particle build up and bacteria.
2. Professional Dog Teeth Cleanings in Greenville, MI
Professional dog teeth cleanings are very important, but not as important as daily brushing. That would be like humans only having our teeth cleaned once a year at the dentist. Could you imagine how awfully damaged our teeth and gums would be if we never brushed or flossed, except when the dentist did it for us? We would have plaque and disease galore, not to mention horrible breath.
Most dogs, unfortunately, have plaque and disease galore, not to mention horrible breath. We just attribute it to them being dogs. The truth is, they need better dental care. At the minimum this should be professional dog teeth cleanings by your veterinarian in Greenville, MI.
During this cleaning, the dog will be put under anesthesia. This is expensive, costing from a couple hundred to a thousand dollars per cleaning. Not to mention anesthesia can be difficult for some dogs. Certain breeds may need twice-yearly professional teeth cleanings if daily brushing is not part of their routine.
Again, daily brushing helps to prevent plaque, tartar, gum disease, and other health problems. It also prevents hundreds to thousands of dollars for professional veterinary dental care when problems arise.
To make it easier, there are some treats that help to scrub away plaque build up as the dog chews. This can be added to the daily routine or can replace the usual treats. This helps to cut down on daily build up even as they snack. Treats also increase saliva production which reduces bad bacteria. Some dental treats have been found to cause bowl blockages so research brands to find one that you trust and has great reviews.
Toys are a wonderful addition to the daily oral health habits that keep teeth clean. Toys with bristles and rope and ridges are great at both occupying our pets and providing them with dental care. As they chew on the toys, even peanut butter filled Kongs, their teeth are cleaned by the texture of what they are playing with. Rope and fabric toys can work similar to a toothbrush, and the same for any silicone bristled toys.
5. Water and Food Additives for Dog Teeth Cleaning in Greenville, MI
A key to great dental health for all creatures is water. Clean drinking water helps to maintain overall health, as well as reduces bacteria in the mouth. A dry mouth is a favored host of bacteria. A hydrated body can produce a good amount of saliva, and the more saliva produced means less oral decay. The saliva not only keeps the mouth from getting dry, but has enzymes which kill bad bacteria. Drinking water after meals helps to rinse the mouth of food particles as well.
To aid in the helpfulness of water, there are several water additives to aid in oral health. These are added to the dog’s water so that when they drink, their mouths are cleansed by the additive. It is almost like a dog mouthwash. This can not only help with bacteria build up but help to freshen the dog’s breath if they are having a heavy halitosis day.
There are also food additives to help with dental care. This can be as simple as adding a few mint leaves to the dog’s food bowl, or using a veterinary approved bottled additive. Some companies make special oral health diets for dogs. Ask your veterinarian in Greenville, MI for their recommendations.
6. Oral Spray
Along the lines of water and food additives, there are some oral sprays that help to eliminate bad breath and reduce plaque. This might be a difficult tip to pull off, as sprays can often scare or intimidate dogs, especially if a dog is new to an oral health care routine. It can be much faster than brushing their teeth, but could scare them and would not be as effective as brushing. However it could be great for days when it is difficult to brush their teeth.
7. General Diet
There are some companies that make specialized dog food with diets for oral health. These include usually larger kibble than normal, with coatings that cut down on plaque build up. The kibbles are usually extra crunchy which helps to scrub off the plaque and bacteria as they chew.
Beyond bagged diets, it can also be beneficial to offer dogs crunchy treats like carrots. While it is okay to give dogs wet food here and there, or if prescribed by a veterinarian, more often it is best to have a dog on a drier diet. Wet diets can lead to more tooth decay for dogs, especially if chewing dry kibble is part of their daily plaque scrubbing.
Talk to Your Vet About Dog Teeth Cleaning in Greenville, MI
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About Greenville Animal Hospital
At Greenville Animal Hospital, our veterinarians and team believe that change is good, and we continually work to embrace change by treating every patient like the individual they are. What’s more, we are dedicated to efficient, modern veterinary medicine. We offer text and email reminders for clients, as well as a comprehensive hospital App that you can access anytime, anywhere to view all your pet’s vaccine records, message the hospital, request a refill or appointment. Embracing change also means advancing our practice with the latest veterinary techniques and equipment, so your pet always receives the best possible care.