Chewing is one of the most effective ways for natural dog dental cleaning, and a fun way for your dog to clean their own teeth while enjoying a snack or toy that will keep them busy. A common perception of dogs is that they love to chew. This, however, is not always the case, and depending on a variety of factors including age, breed, and lifestyle some dogs may fall into heavy chewers, light chewers, or not at all.
Whichever one you find your pet falling into, keeping a dog dental cleaning routine will be beneficial for your dog’s wellness.
Is Dog Tartar A Big Deal?
Dog tartar and plaque build up is more than just a cosmetic issue. The presence of bacteria in your dog’s mouth causes bad breath (bacteria stinks), and the accumulation of tartar causes irritation and inflammation to the gum line around the dog's teeth.
Too much plaque buildup and inflammation can cause dental disease, gingivitis, periodontal disease (loss of the connective tissue fibers, ligaments, and bone surrounding the teeth), and eventually can lead to tooth loss and decay.
An unhealthy mouth can also lead to a more serious health condition. Gums are very vascular and it's possible for the bloodstream to transport microorganisms to the dog's kidneys, liver, and heart valves, causing severe systemic disease.
This is why it’s important to find your dog the right bone, chew or treat and start them on a regular dental cleaning routine before having to resort to professional dental cleaning or surgery.
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
A lot of pet owners don’t realize that brushing your dog’s teeth is quite normal! It might feel silly at first but your dog’s mouth will thank you. Brushing their teeth is usually recommended when they don’t chew their food very much. Chewing kibbles and hard food can help reduce tartar buildup. However if they are not interested in chewing or are on a wet food/raw diet, it is highly recommended to brush their teeth everyday. A bedtime routine is easiest as your pup is often tired by nighttime and might be more willing to let you get a brush in there.
Brushing your dog’s teeth does not need to be a daily thing if they are good with chewing bones or dental toys and chews, but a routine is important. You can make teeth cleaning as common for your dog as getting their hair brushed or nails trimmed. Wagmo is proud to offer dental coverage in our pet wellness plans that often most pet insure plans do not cover.
Older dogs may take a while to get used to the feeling of having their teeth brushed so the sooner you get them started on a routine the better. Start them as a puppy if possible and get them used to a routine. This can also massively improve their overall teeth and mouth health in the long run.
Teeth tip: Don’t use human toothpaste as it can be toxic to our pets. Dog toothpaste usually comes in a delicious chicken or peanut butter flavor.
Find a small toothbrush or one made specifically for pets. There are some available that even fit over your finger if that works best for you and your dog.
Dog Tooth Wipes
If you are looking for a different technique to get your dog’s teeth clean a dog wipe could be a great option. This could also be a great alternative if your dog hates the sensation of having its teeth brushed. You use dog wipes like a toothbrush and wipe them across your dog’s teeth to remove any plaque buildup.
While dog wipes work well, they are unable to get in between teeth and into the smaller nooks and crannies of your dog’s mouth.
Dog teeth wipes are an awesome way to get your dog used to the feeling of something in their mouths. After using the wipes for a period of time you can start introducing a toothbrush to their routine.
Dog Dental Chews
Dog dental chews and treats are a fun way to clean your dog’s teeth. These treats are made specifically to remove plaque buildup and often contain ingredients that freshen breath and clean your dog’s mouth. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors and are usually loved by all dogs.
Dog dental chews can be a great daily solution for plaque build-up. This is also a great way to introduce dental care to your dog. Dental treats are a perfect starting point.
It’s important to chew bones that don’t put your dog’s teeth at risk of chipping. The American Veterinary Dental College does not recommend giving cow hooves, dried natural bones or hard nylon products as these are very hard and can result in fractured teeth and damaged gums.
It is also not recommended to ever offer leftover cooked bones to help clean your dog’s teeth. Doing so is a risky practice as cooked bones tend to become brittle, and when your dog consumes them, they may splinter, potentially causing internal injuries.
As for bones that we should offer our dog’s, there are two categories:
- Edible bones: these are bones that are designed to be chewed and ingested by dogs. These bones are usually a lot softer, so are not the best to clean a dog’s teeth if that is the main purpose you are purchasing them for.
- Recreational bones: these are raw bones that don’t provide much nutritional value as they are not meant to be swallowed. When some cartilage and soft tissue meat is still attached to these bones, the action on the teeth is similar to getting brushed and flossed. This helps reduce tartar and helps reduce the risk for gum problems.
Professional dog dental cleaning is probably the best and most effective way to get your dog’s teeth cleaned. Veterinarians and groomers are trained to ensure your dog’s teeth are plaque-free and their breath is fresh. They also check the dog’s mouth for any potential health issues or something that could potentially become an issue in the future.
Dog Dental And Wellness Coverage
A full dental check-up and cleaning can get pricey, this is why we offer dental care with Wagmo Wellness Plans. Our deluxe plan covers up to $100 of pet dental care a year.
Dog dental insurance offers pet owners peace of mind that something more serious will be caught early. Healthy teeth and gums prevent major issues from occurring like mouth cancer, which can be common in certain breeds. Oral melanoma is a locally infiltrative tumor (can infiltrate deep into bone) and is reported to metastasize (spread) in up to 80% of dogs.
Check out Wagmo’s wellness and insurance plans to find the perfect amount of coverage for your dog at the right price for you. Take our coverage quiz today!