Dog Dental Health

Dog Dental Health

Your dogs is your best friend.  Making sure your dog dental health is very important. Dogs do not get cavities like people.  Even though dog’s mouths are considered cleaner than ours, they can develop plaque buildup and gingivitis.  Yellowing teeth and bad breath are not the only things we have to worry about.  These canine problems can lead to life-threatening infections including heart, liver, and kidney disease.

If you notice any of these signs of dental problems, then take your dog to the veterinarian:

  • Bad breath.
  • Change in eating or dog chewing habits.
  • Pawing at the face or mouth.
  • Depression.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • Misaligned or missing teeth.
  • Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth.
  • Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums.
  • Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
  • Bumps or growths within the mouth

Brushing your dogs teeth

Brushing your dogs’ teeth requires a little strategy and a toothbrush made for dogs.  This toothbrush has the bristles at a 45 degree angle to better get below the gum line, like those offered by several companies like Petosan.

Your dog might not go for the brushing at first, but you can, with time, make the experience pleasant.  Choose a time when your dog has had a lot of exercise and more likely to sit still for the procedure.  Start slowly and quit if your dog gets upset, even if you don’t brush the whole mouth.  Speak soothingly and pleasantly during the brushing and reward them with a treat afterwards.

Start brushing as a Puppy

Grown dogs can learn to enjoy the brushing but it is easier to begin as a puppy.

Picking the right Toothpaste

 This is very important. Do NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs.  You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs, good taste and no fluoride, online and in pet stores.

Dry food is better than soft food

If you are unable to conquer brushing your dogs teeth there are still choices you can make to help improve your dog’s oral health.  Crunchy kibble is better for your dog’s teeth than soft food, as soft food is more likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay.

Chew bones and chew toys to clean teeth

There are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on. Hard objects can cause broken teeth.


Giving your dog a good bone to chew on can help get rid of build up and keep teeth strong, but imagine a human who only chews gum and uses mouth rinse. That’s not an effective means of ensuring good dental hygiene and overall health. The same is true for your dog.

How often to see a vet?

Even with healthy teeth, just like you, your dog should have his teeth checked by a professional every six to twelve months. Your vet should include a dental examination with a normal checkup, but ask for it if they don’t.

Dental care can be a hassle for humans and dogs, but proper maintenance can be a money saver in the long run and even a lifesaver. Letting it go can lead to costly and often painful vet visits down the road. Many dogs have to be given anesthesia to have their teeth and gums cleaned if the buildup is bad enough. Keep your dog’s mouth clean though, and you’ll both be smiling!

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