How many of us are guilty of completely ignoring our dog’s dental health? Unfortunately, plenty of us. The vets usually don’t bring it up so our brain automatically registers dental hygiene as unimportant.
The good news is it’s never too late to start caring about what goes on in your dog’s mouth. And if you have a puppy, you have landed on this page at the perfect time.
WHY DENTAL CARE
Start your puppy’s dental hygiene process early to stay ahead of any and all problems.
If their mouth is left ignored, dogs develop tartar, which could lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Food that gets stuck in the dog’s teeth leads to bacteria growth forming plaque. Bacteria are also the root cause of receding gums that can cause a plethora of problems like redness, swelling, and teeth loosening.
Besides having a detrimental effect on the mouth and teeth, these harmful bacteria upon regular chewing find their way into the bloodstream leading to liver, kidney and heart problems.
You don’t want your pup to grow through trouble that can easily be avoided.
HOW TO ENSURE GOOD DENTAL HYGIENE
ONE STEP AT A TIME
To begin with, get your puppy comfortable with his mouth being handled. While cuddling, casually put his gums aside to check his tiny teeth and gently rub his front teeth or gums. Playfully open his mouth a little bit whilst showering him with affection. Make this a daily practice to ensure he gets comfortable with his mouth and muzzle being touched.
INTRODUCE THE TOOTHBRUSH
Once he gets used to this activity, bring out the big guns – the toothbrush. Use delicious canine friendly toothpaste and gently brush one or two of his teeth in a circular motion. Focus on the side of the teeth closer to the gums – they are easier to access and are also most prone to tartar. Make sure to brush his teeth several times a week if not everyday. Try and do it at the same time so he comes to expect it and who knows, maybe even enjoy it!
INCLUDE DRY FOOD IN DIET
Dry kibble is recommended for pups in their growing years. Munching on it keeps away the bacteria from the surface of the teeth, thus reducing the chances of plaque development. You may add a bit of wet food if it makes your pet eat more enthusiastically.
The truth is good genes are the shortest route to good oral health as most dental issues are hereditary. But if your puppy is not lucky in that department, at least he is lucky enough to have a knowledgeable, hands-on pet parent like you. Happy brushing!
PROVIDE CHEW TOYS
While they are teething, it’s normal for puppies to start gnawing on whatever is soothing to their gums. This doesn’t just lead to your favorite things being destroyed; it may also give him a broken tooth. Get your pup fun chewable toys that are specifically designed for the teething period and also contribute positively to their dental health. You could also try freezing a rolled up wet towel or a rope toy to relieve him of the pain and irritation.