Your dog's oral health is important, but caring for his or her teeth can be easier than you think. Here are some simple tips you can follow to keep your pet's teeth healthy and clean.
Choose The Right Kibble
Not all dog food is created equal, and it's important to find the right type for your dog. If you have a small dog, regular kibble might be too large and crunchy to properly chew and swallow. Large dogs may have difficulty chewing small kibble before swallowing. The amount of chewing is important, as pieces of kibble can become lodged in between your dog's teeth. Look at the product packaging to determine which size of dog each type of food is ideal for. You can also ask your veterinarian for guidance. In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend soft food instead of kibble to prevent damage to your dog's teeth.
Select Chew Toys Carefully
Chew toys can serve several purposes. They can provide an alternative to chewing on walls and flooring, which can be damaging to teeth. Some chew toys are even made specifically to keep your dog's teeth clean. Avoid bones, which can be hard on the teeth and can also pose a choking hazard. Be sure that any chew toys you give your dog are geared toward his or her size and breed. Just as with kibble, large toys can be a problem for small dogs and small toys can be a problem for big dogs. To keep your dog's teeth clean during chewing, look for a dental toy that stimulates the gums and reduces tartar.
Brush Your Dog's Teeth
You can brush your dog's teeth on your own, depending on his or her disposition. Your veterinarian can recommend the proper type of brush and paste to use for this purpose. Let your dog taste the toothpaste before starting, as this can help him or her learn that the experience will be tasty. If you are unsure about how to brush your dog's teeth, ask your veterinarian to demonstrate at your next appointment.
Schedule Professional Cleanings
Just as with humans, your dog will still need professional cleanings even if you brush his teeth. Your veterinarian will let you know how often your dog's teeth should be cleaned. This process typically involves anesthetizing your pet, so you'll need to wait until the medication has worn off before feeding your dog after the dog teeth cleaning. You may also have to feed your dog wet food in the day or days after, as his or her teeth may be sensitive.