Have you ever kneeled to give your canine companion some cuddles only for bad breath to leave you gasping for air? Bad breath in dogs can indicate that your little friend might have some teeth problems. If left untreated, these problems can go deeper into the body.
Prevention is the best medicine. It means learning how to keep your dog's teeth clean at all times, and we're here to give you all the tips and tricks you'll need to do just that. From regular dental checkups and brushing teeth to adding coconut oil to your dog's diet, you'll find out everything you'll need to keep Fido's breath nice and fresh.
The Importance of Canine Dental Care
It's true - dogs aren't as prone to developing tooth cavities as humans are. But that doesn't mean they don't risk developing tartar, gingivitis, and plaque build-ups. Ignoring Fido's oral health can lead to severe and life-threatening conditions like heart, liver, and kidney diseases.
Knowing the ins and outs of dog dental hygiene not only means a healthier furry friend but also keeps you from having to back away as soon as your dog opens its mouth or starts licking your face. By getting to grips with the basics of dog oral care, your reward will be a healthy and happy pup with the freshest breath.
Establishing a Dental Care Routine for Fido
The term "establishing a dental care routine for Fido" might sound daunting, but it's not. All it takes is a few minutes from your weekly daily schedule and fundamental changes in your dog's lifestyle.
We all know how important it is to take our pups for regular dental checkups, but with a well-established dental care routine, the visits might be less frequent. With that in mind, take good care of your dog's teeth health every day by brushing their teeth at least once daily and using all the home remedies we will recommend later on. Remember, taking care of your dog's dental health now will save you a lot of money, headache, and possible heartache later on.
Keeping Your Dog's Teeth Clean
Every loving dog parent's top priority is to take care of their four-legged friend's well-being, which naturally includes their dental health. It raises the question of how to keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy. There's more than one answer to this question. In any case, it involves creating an easy-to-follow dental teeth care routine for your pup.
What's more important is not waiting until your dog is old enough and has already started having teeth problems before you take care of its pearly whites. The younger you start, the better results you'll see in the long term and the less exhausting the process. Remember that puppies often tend to resist less than older dogs, so teach them young. With all that said, let's take a quick dive into all the ways you can use to ensure you'll see Fido's fresh smile for a long time.
Realize That Brushing Your Dog's Teeth is Your Actual Best Friend
Did you expect anything else to top the list? Guess not. Brushing teeth is the king of dental care for dogs, right after the queen herself: regular check-ins with a vet. This method might not be the most pleasant, but no other way can fully compensate for it.
Start by buying a toothbrush specific for dogs, whether a finger brush or one with a full handle. Note that using a toothbrush meant for humans would only bring more problems as they're not soft enough for our furry friends. Next, look for dog-specific toothpaste like peanut butter or chicken in yummy flavors. Much like human toothbrushes, human toothpaste is a significant no-no since it contains fluoride, a toxic chemical for Fido.
Now that toothbrushes and toothpaste are ready, we face the most significant question. Will your dog gracefully accept these foreign objects in its mouth? Chances are it won't. You may witness resistance like you've never seen before. Expect a lot of stress and wriggling. It is normal because it's a weird sensation for Fido - like tickling. That's why it's always a good idea to start when they're young. Then again, while most dogs will make a fuss about it, some delightful oddballs may enjoy having their teeth brushed.
In any case, there's no need to despair because, with just a few tips and tricks, the process will be a breeze. Try using your fingers on your dog's teeth first and slowly move to a toothbrush. Next, let it smell and taste the toothpaste. Chances are they'll love it. Most importantly, do what is necessary; 15 seconds on each side is enough, especially when you've just started. Aim to do this once a day for optimum results, but if that's not possible, a couple of times per week would be better than nothing.
While most dogs eventually get used to having their teeth brushed, a few will stubbornly refuse to allow a toothbrush to get anywhere near their teeth. And the truth is many of us are unwilling to force anything upon Fido. Luckily, there are other, less invasive ways to keep your dog's teeth healthy and clean.
Get Acquainted With Dental Wipes
Dental wipes come next on our list of how to keep your dog's teeth clean, and they're the closest alternative to brushing those pearls. These also come in different flavors, and chances are your pup will enjoy most - if not all of them. A dental wipe does most of what a toothbrush does, and the sensation won't freak out Fido. It can be especially ideal when you're just starting. If your dog is hellbent on making the toothbrush its mortal enemy, a dental wipe will prevent plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
Rub Some Oral Gel
While they're not alternatives for toothbrushes and toothpaste, oral gels can be handy between brushing times. But if your pup is utterly unreceptive of toothbrushes, oral gels are an excellent way to clean your dog's teeth without brushing; it's better than nothing. Gels help keep your dog's teeth clean by killing plaque-creating bacteria. All you need to do is put a small amount on your finger and rub it gently against your four-legged friend's teeth and gums.
Use Oral Spray for Instant Breath Freshness
How do you keep your dog's teeth clean by using neither a toothbrush nor your fingers? Much to your delight, there's a quick solution to getting rid of - or preventing your pooch's stinky breath. It involves keeping a bottle of dog-specific oral spray nearby at all times. Just like gels, oral sprays also kill the plaque -creating bacteria in your dog's mouth. All you need to do is spritz the teeth and gums, and your pup's breath will be as fresh as mint. It's a simple and no-fuss answer to "how to clean my dog's mouth."
Let Coconut Oil Work The Magic
Another question you may ask is, "How do I keep my dog's teeth clean naturally." The answer lies in the antibacterial properties of coconut oil. This miracle oil contains lauric acid, which protects against bacteria. It helps stop gingivitis, offers pain relief caused by periodontitis, moisturizes your puppy's gums, and hardens tooth enamel.
Here's how to keep a dog's teeth clean with coconut oil: Put a small amount on your fingertips and rub it against your dog's teeth and gums. You can also add some to your dog's food or its toys. Chewing the food or gnawing on the toy will cause the oil to spread all around the mouth and reach the teeth and gums.
Add Cinnamon Extract To Your Dog's Food
Also, a natural ingredient worth experimenting with is a cinnamon extract. Its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties can do wonders in keeping your dog's teeth clean and healthy. Add a dash of cinnamon extract to your furry friend's meals, and it will work miracles. The best part is that cinnamon extract works amazingly on bad breath, so no more running away from cuddles and kisses.
Visit a Dentist
Wondering what is the best thing for a dog's dental health? Other than routine care, it's regularly having their teeth checked by the vet. No matter how thoroughly you brush your dog's teeth every day and all the home remedies you use to keep its pearly whites healthy, checking in with a veterinary dentist ensures that your efforts are paying off.
Most bigger dogs are good with one checkup a year unless problems arise. But if you have a smaller breed, you might have to visit the vet twice a year. The bottom line is that there are no alternatives for regular dental checkups.
Dog Dental Diet
You'll be glad to find out that a great way to clean your dog's teeth is by simply giving it quality food. Having Fido on a dog dental diet guarantees healthy teeth every day. We're talking about foods that include fibrous ingredients, are chewy, and contain probiotics. A dog dental diet can come in both dry and wet form and is the best thing you can offer your dog - besides your undying love.
Chew Toys and Dental Chews
Chew toys are effective ways to improve your dog’s dental health. They help the teeth stay clean and free of plaque and tartar, while at the same time keeping your dog happy, busy, and entertained. These toys also come in handy for dogs that chew everything they can get their paws on, offering a good distraction and stress relief. Invest in some chew treats and toys and it won’t take long before you start noticing the difference in your dog's health and behavior.
You can find a similar solution in dental chews. These bite-sized doggy snacks come in a variety of flavors and sizes, and you can find some for each stage of your four-legged friend’s life. They’re both delicious and healthy for the teeth, as they encourage Fido to keep chewing for long periods of time. Just make sure to go for the ones that are free of added sugar, fat, and preservatives.
However, if your dog has the habit of gobbling up its food in a matter of seconds, you’ll want to avoid dental chews. This is because these chews are meant to break down very slowly and may get lodged in your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestines, blocking the digestive tract and requiring expensive surgery.
How to Train Dog for Dental Care
Establish a Schedule
Whether it's brushing your dog's teeth, wiping them, or having Fido play with chew toys, your dog will respond better to the new changes in its life once you set a precise schedule. Dogs can't tell the time, but they can recognize routines with time. For example, the plan could look like this: brushing its teeth right after the day's first meal or playing with its chew toys after the afternoon exercises. If you keep up with the schedule long enough, your dog will start building healthier dental habits.
Another trick for keeping your dog's teeth clean involves offering treats after each dental care routine. Hold its favorite dog treat in one hand and brush its teeth with the other. That way, Fido will know it's getting rewarded for good behavior, and soon enough, it will be looking forward to having its teeth brushed or wiped. An even better idea is to reward your doggo with a chew treat - that's a double win right there.
Familiarize Fido With the New Dental Objects in Its Life
Being the curious creatures that they are, Dogs love to chew on random items. Luckily, that's one of the ways to keep your dog's teeth clean. So let them do that. You can even divert their attention to the toothbrush and the chew toy. That way, you'll effortlessly be maintaining Fido's dental health.
To Wrap Up
Alongside regular visits to the vet, routine brushing is the best way to guarantee your dog has the shiniest smile. But if that's only sometimes practical, there are many other ways to clean your dog's teeth. And they're all a walk in the park. Applying one - or a combination - of these methods will help you stay on top of Fido's dental health. Start now, and you'll be reaping the benefits in no time.
More Questions? We've Got Answers
How can I clean my dog's teeth naturally without brushing?
How to clean dog teeth without brushing at home is something you think about if Fido refuses to have a toothbrush anyway near his teeth. Should that be the case, aim for crunchy snacks like carrots that encourage Fido to chew for extended periods. You can also add some coconut oil and cinnamon extract to his food or rub them on his toys. Another solution is to rely on a lot of chew treats and toys - anything that encourages your furry friend to chew but is also safe.
What foods can clean my dog's teeth?
How to keep my dog's teeth clean is a question that every dog owner may ask. The good news is that there are foods and ingredients which help with the process. Think crunchy and nutritious food such as carrots or broccoli. They'll encourage your dog to chew and are filled with nutrients simultaneously. You've also got coconut oil and cinnamon extract, which have antibacterial properties and will do wonders for your furry friend's teeth.
How often should I brush my dog's teeth?
Brushing your dog's teeth twice a day is best, but once a day should do the trick. If your pooch is a stubborn fellow, brushing its teeth several times each week would also be better than nothing. The point is to touch as much as possible to avoid having problems later on because, despite the plethora of ways to take care of your dog's teeth, nothing comes close to brushing.
Is it ok to not brush your dog's teeth?
If you want to improve your dog's dental health, nothing beats brushing its teeth regularly. Depending on how soon you started, the breed of your dog, and its behavior towards toothbrushes, you might not be able to brush its teeth as much as needed. That's why there's a list of alternatives that can help fill the gaps. And while they can help keep your dog's teeth clean, they're no match for the almighty toothbrush.