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The Joy of a Healthy Smile

A dog sitting on a table next to a toothbrush and toothpaste

When your dog grins up at you, happiness radiating from the tip of his snoot to his wiggly, wagging tail, it can melt your heart. You would never want to cause that happy little soul any pain, but if you are not taking care of your dog’s dental health, you may do just that. Dental health is a major part of your dog’s overall well-being, and it is important to make sure your pet gets the very best dental care possible. Here, we offer some tips for keeping up with your dog’s dental hygiene.

Common Doggy Dental Problems

When a dog’s teeth are not in good shape, he or she is susceptible to dental hygiene issues similar to those that plague humans. Gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss can all be the result of poor dental hygiene, in humans and dogs. Another fact common to both humans and dogs is that bacteria in the mouth don’t stay in the mouth. Entering the bloodstream, bacteria travel to other parts of the body, and this can harm vital organs and shorten the lifespan.

How Do You Know Your Dog Has Dental Health Issues?

Your dogs can’t tell you when their teeth hurt, but you can tell if they are in distress by paying attention. Bad breath is a sure sign of dental issues, and there are also visible signs, like tartar on the teeth, swollen or bleeding gums, or teeth that are loose or broken. Decreased appetite and drooling can also be an indication that something is amiss. If you notice any of these signs, seek veterinary care immediately, for the best chance at a speedy recovery.

Dental Cleaning Basics

Your vet can clean your dog’s teeth, but that is only an occasional solution because it requires anesthesia. At home, though, you can take care of your dog’s teeth on your own with a few simple steps.

  • Use the right toothbrush and toothpaste. You can choose a toothbrush that is pet-friendly, but make sure that your dog’s toothpaste is pet-specific. Human toothpaste can never be used for pets, because it contains fluoride, which is toxic to them.
  • Start slowly. Begin by touching the dog’s lips and teeth without a toothbrush, and offering a taste of the toothpaste. When you do begin to employ the brush, be gentle, stroking and massaging your pet’s teeth and gums. Understand that this is a completely new experience, and be patient. It may take some time for both of you to get used to it.
  • Be consistent. Brush frequently, establishing a routine so that your pet becomes comfortable with the process. Choose a place for toothbrushing that is free from distraction, where you and your pet can concentrate on the task at hand. Daily brushing is ideal, but since this may not be practical, try to brush your dog’s teeth at least once or twice each week.
  • Reward cooperation. Once your brushing session is over, give your pet plenty of praise and maybe a treat, like a dental chew made to help keep the teeth clean. Make sure that dental cleaning feels like a positive experience, so that you will have less of a struggle doing it regularly.

Other Dental Care Measures

Make sure to take your dog to the vet regularly, so that your veterinarian can catch any potential options and treat them before they become too serious. Additionally, feed your pet a nutritious, balanced diet, including food that will reduce plaque and tartar, like crunchy carrots. There are additives you can put into the water to help with dental health, and dental treats that can clean the teeth. Chew toys are a good option, because they help with boredom as well as dental care, cleaning the teeth while providing entertainment.

Let Dr. Dave’s Help You Care for Your Pet’s Teeth

When you bring your dog to Dr. Dave’s Doggy Daycare, Boarding, and Grooming for grooming, we will also help you with dental cleaning by giving those pearly whites a good brushing! Our staff full of pet lovers has extensive experience in the pet care industry, and we understand that your pets deserve the best of everything. If you don’t want your dog to be lonely while you’re away from home, our daycare services will provide socialization with other dogs and a staff that will pay special attention to your pet’s needs. If you need to go out of town, we will keep your dog safe and happy, and we have a certified veterinarian available 24/7 in case of health care issues. Does your pet need grooming? We’ll provide your pet with a spa day worthy of royalty. For more information about all the services we offer to pet lovers and their furry family members, call 408-647-2774 in Saratoga, 408-520-4902 in Campbell, or contact us through our website.