Many dog owners do not start worrying about dental care until their dogs reach middle age and start dealing with issues such as gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. The problem with this approach is that by the time you notice these issues, they have usually been progressing for a while, and they are hard to treat. Why not take a more preventative approach and start taking good care of your dog's teeth when they are young? Here's how.
Get your dog used to tooth brushing.
Brushing your dog's teeth regularly will help keep tartar and plaque at bay. It's best to get your dog used to brushing when they are young. Use a toothbrush made specifically for dogs, along with an enzyme-based toothpaste that is also made just for dogs. These toothpastes break down tartar even if you don't get a lot of brushing action. Make sure you talk to your dog in a soothing tone and reward them after they sit to have their teeth brushed. Try to brush their teeth at least two or three times per week.
Feed some hard kibble.
There are benefits to feeding your dog a wet food diet, but you should always include some kibble. Look for a kibble that is advertised to promote dental health. These formulas usually contain larger chunks that your dog needs to chew and grind carefully. The chewing process helps clean the teeth. Buy a kibble made for the appropriate-size dog. For instance, a German shepherd won't get much benefit from a dental care kibble made from chihuahua-sized dogs.
Give your dog chew toys.
While you may not like your dog tearing apart their plush toys, ripping and chewing things with their teeth is good for them. Buy them a couple of toys that are meant to be chewed on so they can chew unabashedly. Do keep an eye on these toys. Then they start to break down to the point that you're worried about pieces falling off and your dog swallowing those pieces, replace them. Again, make sure you buy a toy that is properly sized for your dog.
If you follow the tips above when your dog is still young, he or she can look forward to a lifetime of improved dental health. To learn more, talk with your pet dental specialist. They can also give your dog a checkup once a year to see how their teeth are faring.
To learn more on how to keep your dog's teeth healthy, contact a pet dental care center near you.