Did you know that dog dental disease affects 80% of adult dogs and 96% of senior dogs? There are thankfully lots of ways to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums feeling their best. In this blog, we share some top ways to practice healthy doggy dental routines.
Start Them Early
Many new puppy parents are so excited about buying new beds, lots of toys, yummy treats, but may forget something very important, puppy mouth health! Puppies are born without teeth but begin growing sharp little teeth after a few weeks.
Puppies will have their permanent teeth by 4-6 months old. In the first few months, dog owners will notice teething similar to human babies. As your puppy’s baby teeth fall out and they begin to grow their adult teeth, they may want to chew on… everything! This helps ease the discomfort that comes along with growing new teeth. Lots of chew toys can help encourage your puppy to not chew the furniture, shows, rugs, you name it.
Along with new chew toys, you need to begin a routine for dog dental health. The earlier you begin getting them used to the feeling of having their teeth cleaned the easier time you’ll have. Brushing your dog’s teeth starting as a puppy can save you thousands of dollars in vet bills.
Brush Teeth Daily
The first 16+ weeks in a puppy’s life is the perfect time to begin a tooth cleaning routine. Bacterial plaque accumulates on teeth within 24 hours. Similar to human teeth, if it is not cleaned off every 24 hours it can turn into tartar. Tartar is way harder to clean and can also cause mouth health issues. Dental disease begins with tartar and leads to:
- Gum inflammation
- Bad breath
- Loosing of teeth
- Significant pain
If puppy parents begin a dental routine at 3 months this can eliminate the odds of their dog developing dental issues as adults. In one year a puppy is equivalent to 15 human years, so waiting to begin brushing their teeth even by a year could cause serious health complications.
Get your puppy used to you opening their mouths and brushing their teeth. This helps them trust you and get used to the feeling.
Brush Teeth Properly
There are lots of ways to brush your dog’s teeth. The most important thing is to find what your dog is most comfortable with. You just need to make sure you hit the front, back, inside, and outside of each tooth. The easiest way to begin brushing your dog’s teeth is to ease them into it:
- Rub your fingers in their mouth to get them used to it.
- Slowly introduce a toothbrush and rub the teeth.
- Progress to using the brush for the back teeth.
- Now you can introduce dog-specific toothpaste. Remember, human toothpaste is not safe for dogs.
Dog Dental Bones
Dog dental chews and treats are a perfect place to start! Only 2% of dog owners physically brush their dog’s teeth every day. Although brushing their teeth is the best way to prevent dental disease, dental chews are awesome. If you’re giving your puppy a dental treat double check they are safe for puppies, as some might be too high in calories or too large. There are puppy dental chews, then after 9 months, you can move over to adult sizes.
Dog Dental Plans
Once plaque and tartar has been established in the mouth, it is very difficult to remove it through the use of home care products. In this situation, it is best to have a professional cleaning performed and then begin daily home care after recovery.
This is why a dog wellness plan can be super beneficial. Signing up for dental coverage covers everything from:
- Full dental procedure
- Oral exam
- Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT)
- Bark Bright Dental Kit
How To Choose A Dental Chew
There are so many doggy dental chews and products available, it’s important to do a bit of research before introducing them to your dog. While a lot may be tasty, they may not be effectively removing plaque. Here are top tips for choosing the right chews:
- Review ingredients: Choose a brand that uses natural, non-GMO ingredients. Make sure you recognized the ingredients, such as potato and chicken, not ‘meat meal’ or ‘cereals’.
- Avoid allergens: Some dogs have allergies to certain foods. If your dog has food sensitivities select a brand with limited ingredients. A grain-free, vegetarian chew is often best for these dogs.
- Right size: Make sure the size of the chew matches the size of your dog. If a piece that is too big is swallowed this can upset the dog’s tummy.
Sign up for a pet wellness plan and a pet insurance plan today to make sure your dog is covered for their teeth to their toes!