Good dental hygiene is one of the most important elements for the overall health and well-being of your dog. Brush your dog's teeth twice a day or mix and match different cleaning methods that work best for you and your dog. Be sure to find something that you can commit to and make part of your routine. You will also want to have your dog's teeth checked twice a year by a veterinarian. A white smile and breath that smells fresh is an excellent indicator of good health and wellness.
This is the best way to care for your dog’s teeth. Select a toothpaste that is designed for dogs and that does not include fluoride or sugar. If you are just getting started with brushing, you might want to start by using a finger toothbrush or a piece of gauze with a little toothpaste on it. Run your finger along the inside of your dog’s mouth making sure you reach the molars. Brush softly in a horizontal motion. After a few weeks you should introduce a bristle toothbrush and follow the same routine.
These provide an excellent natural way for your dog to clean his own teeth. Make sure you only choose raw meaty bones. Never give cooked bones. They greatly reduce the need for professional dental scaling.
Oral sprays are a great alternative for people who do not brush their dog's teeth every day. They still require daily use, but are very easy to use. They work by balancing the chemistry in the mouth with herbs that kill harmful bacteria. The ingredients mix with your pet’s saliva and coat the teeth. Leba III uses mint and roses in trace elements that are stabilized in Ethyl alcohol and distilled water. Petzlife contains grapefruit seed extract, grape seed extract, thyme oil, neem oil, rosemary oil and peppermint oil that are formulated with distilled water and grain alcohol. These products are sprayed onto your dog’s teeth or applied with a swab. Results are generally seen in just a few weeks with daily use. It is important to not let your dog to eat or drink for 30 minutes after the spray is applied to allow the product to work properly. Once you have achieved good results, use the product only weekly for maintenance.
There are many different dental chews on the market. Zukes Z-Ridge dental bones come in flavors dogs love like carrot and cranberry. Z-Ridge bones are all-natural and contain alfalfa, clove, nutmeg, parsley and fennel that naturally freshen breath. The chewing action will help to eliminate tartar and polish teeth. Enzymatic dental chews such as those offered by CET and Petrodex contain enzymes that are released into the mouth during chewing and providing an antimicrobial cleaning.
These often contain sodium hexametaphosphate, which slows the rate that plaque turns into tartar. Petzlife offers a dental gel that is all natural. It contains the same ingredients as their spray but has an agent that gels and coats the teeth and mouth. If you have a finicky pet you can also rub a little of the gel on a chew toy as an alternative to applying it directly in the mouth. You can also use the gel on a toothbrush for quick results. Once you have achieved good results, use the product weekly for maintenance.
These are products that you add to your dog’s drinking water. They are a good compliment to a hygiene program but should not be relied upon as sole dental care.
Dental chew toys
Dental chew toys, such as Nylabones have nubs that massage gums and scrape plaque. They can be a valuable part of your dog's dental care. Dental rope chew toys help remove soft tartar. These should be thought of as a compliment to your dental program. They should not be relied upon as the sole method of dental care.