Keeping your dog's teeth clean and healthy is more important than you might think. In fact, it affects their entire body. So, it's worth taking the time to learn how to properly care for your furry friend's teeth and gums.
If you’re like most people, keeping your dog’s teeth clean may seem like a daunting task. After all, no one wants to wrestle with their dog to brush their teeth on a day basis.
In this post, we'll share five simple tips that will help you create an effective dental care routine for your pup and keep their teeth in tip-top shape. With a little knowledge and effort, you can help your dog maintain good oral health and prevent serious problems from developing. So, let's get started!
Why is Oral Health Important for Dogs?
Your dog's oral health is important because it impacts their overall health. Roughly 85% of all dogs over the age of 4 have periodontal disease, which is caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar on their teeth.
Oral health is multifaceted. It includes a dog's ability to smell, taste, chew, and swallow. If your dog's mouth is healthy, they'll be able to do all of these things without pain or difficulty. But if their oral health is poor, it can lead to a wide range of problems.
In the early stages of periodontal disease, dogs may display the following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Yellow or brown buildup on teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Swollen, bleeding gums
- Sensitivity around the mouth
As the disease progresses, dogs can develop more serious symptoms that can have a big impact on their overall health and quality of life, including:
- Difficulty eating
- Weight loss
- Tooth loss
- Oral infections
In the most severe cases, periodontal disease can lead to systemic infections and damage to organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. This happens when bacteria from the mouth enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body.
How Can I Keep My Dog's Teeth Clean & Healthy?
Keeping your dog's teeth clean and healthy doesn't need to be complicated. In fact, there are a few simple things you can do that will go a long way in preventing oral problems from developing. Here are our top five tips:
1) Feed a Species Appropriate Diet
The best foods to feed your pet are living, raw, fresh and species appropriate. These foods support your pet's health and protect them from illness and disease. Raw foods like meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables can also help to scrub away plaque and prevent oral problems from developing.
Check out our previous post, The Importance of Feeding Your Pet a Species-Appropriate Diet, for an overview of the benefits of feeding your pet a raw diet. We also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of home-prepared and commercial diets, so you can make the best decision for your pet.
2) Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Daily with Natural Toothpaste
Brushing your dog's teeth daily with a natural toothpaste is one of the best things you can do to keep their mouth healthy. We like to use virgin coconut oil as it's a natural antibacterial and has been proven to kill bacteria that cause tooth decay.
You can mix a little VCO with baking powder, peppermint oil, or probiotics to create a healthy and effective toothpaste for your pup.
The simplest way to brush your dog's teeth is by applying a small amount of coconut oil to a moistened piece of gauze, then brush with gentle motions to clean the teeth and gums. Your dog will love the sweet taste of the oil, and the gauze will make the task of brushing a whole lot easier!
Need a little guidance on how to brush your dog's teeth? Check out our step-by-step video tutorial.
3) Provide Safe Chews Like Bully Sticks or Raw Bones
Chews are a great way to keep your dog's teeth clean and their gums healthy. Chewing helps remove plaque and tartar from the teeth by scrubbing them clean. It also stimulates blood flow to the gums, which helps to keep them healthy.
Bully sticks and raw bones are two of our favorite chews for dental health. Bully sticks are made from all-natural beef muscle, and they're a great source of protein. Raw bones are also rich in nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, which support dental health.
4) Give Dental Chews or Treats
Dental chews and treats are another excellent way to supplement your dog's oral care routine. These products are specially formulated to help remove plaque and tartar from the teeth while also freshening breath.
Some of the best dental chews and treats for dogs contain antioxidants like vitamin E and C, as well as selenium. These ingredients support a healthy inflammatory response and help to reduce gum inflammation.
5) Supplement Your Dog’s Diet with Probiotics
Finally, we recommend supplementing your dog's diet with probiotics. Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that support gut health. They can also help to prevent periodontal disease by maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth.
As always, before giving your pet any supplements, be sure to speak with your veterinarian first. They will be able to recommend the best probiotic supplement for your dog based on their individual needs.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy and prevent oral problems from developing. A healthy mouth is a vital part of overall health, so it's important to do what you can to keep your pet's teeth and gums healthy and strong.
We hope you found these tips helpful! Do you have any additional tips for keeping your dog's teeth clean and healthy? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.