Dogs, just like humans, are healthier and happier when they have clean and healthy teeth. However, unlike humans, dogs cannot brush and floss their own teeth every day. And while veterinarians recommend you brush your dog's teeth daily, this may not always be possible for various reasons. One example would be if your dog is just not cooperative and snaps or growls if you try to open their mouth to brush their teeth. Get to know some of the other ways that you can help to support healthy teeth in your dog. This will give you the resources you need to improve your dog's oral health.
Choose the Right Dog Food
While you cannot always get a good look inside of your dog's mouth, you can have a say in what goes into their mouth. Carefully choosing the right dog food for your pet is an important step in preserving their oral health.
Many cheaper, commercially-produced dog foods contain a lot of fillers. This can include things like animal byproducts and cereal grains. Those fillers tend to stick to a dog's teeth more than whole, natural ingredients.
When food stays on the teeth longer, there is more of a chance for plaque, tartar, and infections to develop. Because of this, you will want to choose a food for your dog that contains only whole grains (or in some cases no grains at all) as well as natural fruits and vegetables, and meat (not byproducts or meal). This will help your dog to have less residual food on their teeth when they eat.
Try Nylon Chew Bones
If your dog likes to play with toys, and specifically to chew on them, you might want to give nylon chew bones a try. These toys are durable chew toys that allow your dog to get their chewing in without getting rawhide bone residue on their teeth.
Chewing on the nylon can actually help to get residue off of teeth as they rub against the teeth as your dog chews. Just keep an eye on them so they do not actually eat the toy unless it has been deemed safe to consume (some are, some aren't).
Take Them for Annual Dental Cleanings
Your dog needs dental care to ensure that their mouth stays clean and healthy. The best way to provide that, whether you brush their teeth regularly or not, is to take them to the veterinarian for dental care at least once a year.
The veterinarian will do a thorough exam of your dog's teeth first. Then, to clean their teeth, they will need to put your dog under anesthesia. While under anesthesia, your veterinarian may also do dental x-rays to check for unseen dental issues. This process can detect teeth and gum problems in your dog early and get them the care and treatment they need to recover and maintain a healthy mouth.
Taking care of your dog's teeth should be a priority in your pet care routine. These steps can help you to achieve the goal of keeping your dog's mouth healthy. Contact a vet's office, like Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic, for more help.