I do my best to keep my dog Sherlock's teeth clean. Here are my dental hygiene tips for other dog guardians.
Alternative and Cheap Dental Care for Dogs
Veterinary dental bills sure can be expensive. Have you ever heard the saying "Prevention is better than cure"? Well, this is certainly true when it comes to dog dentition. That's why maintaining healthy teeth in dogs is the responsibility of the owner.
Are you brushing your dog's teeth regularly? Find out how to maintain your dog's healthy smile and prevent expensive medical bills from cleanings, extractions, and more with these three easy tips:
- Regularly offer your dog low-calorie dental chews and toys.
- Get the tartar on your dog's teeth removed.
- Brush your dog's teeth daily or weekly.
1. Dental Chews and Toys
This is probably the easiest way to ensure that your dog's teeth stay healthy. Chewing on treats and toys geared toward dental hygiene simply improves your dog's teeth.
Keep in mind, however, that this method doesn't replace the need to brush your dog's teeth at least weekly. I like to try to give my dog, Sherlock, at least one Greenie dental chew a day. Not only does it help with his teeth, but it definitely helps to keep his breath fresh.
2. Removing Tartar on Your Dog's Teeth
If you've reached that point where it looks like your dog's been chewing on yellow crayons, then shame on you. Every dog owner has neglected their dog's teeth at some point, but once they've reached this stage, you need to take action.
Try a Dental Wipe
Normally, you would take your dog to the vet for teeth cleaning. But as long as your dog's teeth are not too far gone, you can use products like dental wipes for tartar removal/reduction to get rid of those yellow spots on their teeth.
After you have removed the tartar, it's recommended that you stick with brushing at least once a week. If you spoil your dog with people food, brushing their teeth three times a week is a better routine in my opinion.
Anesthesia-Free Cleanings by Veterinary Professionals
You may also want to consider anesthesia-free teeth cleaning by veterinary professionals. Whereas services offering anesthesia-free cleanings are often considered risky and inadequate, this service is different: A veterinary technician or assistant will perform the cleaning under the supervision of a veterinarian. It's cheaper and anesthesia-free—a win-win!
How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth
3. Brushing Your Dog's Teeth
Brushing is probably the most important thing you can do to keep your dog's mouth healthy. If you're brushing your dog's teeth at least three times a week, then you can pat yourself on the back and go adopt five more dogs. If not, find a toothbrush somewhere and start brushing those canines.
How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth
Here's how to brush your dog's teeth:
- Help your dog adjust to a toothbrush in their mouth. Simply start out by giving your dog a small taste of veterinarian-approved toothpaste so that they're more willing to let you use the toothbrush.
- As your dog becomes more comfortable, start by lifting up their lip and gently brushing the outer surface of their upper teeth. Be sure to praise them and offer them treats if they are food motivated.
- Get your dog comfortable with you gently opening their mouth so that you can access all tooth surfaces. Remember to always be gentle and praise them lavishly as you do this.
- Brushing your dog's teeth once a week is great; three times a week is fantastic; daily is exceptional!
The toothbrush in the video above is a good one to use because it will get each side of the tooth that you're working on. In the long run, brushing your dog's teeth will help you save on those vet bills and might prevent your dog from developing serious oral issues. Be sure to share your success stories below!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.