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Essentials of doggie dental care

Dog get his teeth brushed

Proper dental health is crucial to a happy, healthy pooch so here are some tips for better doggie oral hygiene.

Regular veterinary check-ups

Have your veterinarian check your dog’s teeth and gums at least once per year. Depending on your dog’s needs, he or she may need to have more frequent checkups, but it’s important to catch periodontal disease in its early stages. Regular dental cleanings can prevent serious damage to your pet’s overall health.

Daily brushing

You brush your teeth daily, so why not your dog’s teeth? Just like in humans, daily brushing can help prevent plaque buildup, which leads to gum inflammation. It may take a bit of training, but most dogs adjust well to this daily habit. Your local pet store likely has a variety of toothbrushes and toothpaste to choose from, so you can decide which type suits you and your furry friend.

Chew treats

Offer your pet a variety of chewy and crunchy treats to help scrape off developing plaque. Chewy treats such as dried sweet potatoes and jerky are great options. You can even try giving your pooch apple or carrot slices. Try to avoid anything too hard such as ice cubes, as your pet can break or damage a tooth. Just remember to offer treats in moderation to prevent weight gain and obesity.

Chew toys

If your pet enjoys quiet time with his chew toy, you can use this opportunity to improve dental health. You can find a variety of chew toys designed specifically for dental health at your local pet store. Make sure to keep an eye on your pup during any chew time. If he or she manages to break a piece off or simply chews it down too small, it can become a choking hazard.


You spend more time with your pet than anyone else, so watch for any changes in your pet’s behavior or diet. If your dog exhibits signs such as bad breath, inflamed gums, tartar, or even a reluctance to eat, it may be time to see your veterinarian about a dental cleaning. You are your pet’s voice, so speak up if something seems out of the ordinary.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common afflictions and can not only affect your pet’s mouth but his or her vital organs as well. Dogs with periodontal disease can develop abscesses, which allow bacteria access to the bloodstream. These bacteria then spread throughout the body, wreaking havoc on internal organs.

Following a regular at-home oral hygiene routine can help prevent health problems and outrageous vet bills. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so follow these tips and your veterinarian’s advice to keep your pooch feeling great.

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