As dog owners, one of the most important aspects of their health we can maintain is dental health. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease and a host of other concerns. Here, a Welland vet offers five steps to keeping your dog’s mouth in tip-top shape.
Every once in a while, sniff your dog’s breath. We realize it’s not going to smell wonderful, but if your dog’s breath seems to have a truly offensive odor, something could be amiss. A rotting smell could indicate periodontal disease or other issues, and sweet, fruity breath could be a sign of diabetes. Call your veterinarian if you think you pooch’s breath warrants another sniff.
A balanced diet is key to maintaining good dental health. It will provide the nutrients needed for strong bone, tooth, and gum health. Ask your vet for a recommendation on a high-quality food. Dog treats can also promote good dental health—choose a brand that claims to reduce plaque build-up or whiten teeth.
Good chew toys can help scrape loose tartar off of teeth, keeping them healthier for longer. Chew toys also strengthen your dog’s teeth and gums by giving them something to work on. Choose toys that can’t be destroyed and don’t have small, breakable pieces. Switch toys up if your dog gets bored.
You can brush your dog’s teeth at home to keep the pearly whites healthy. Select a dog-formulated toothpaste and purchase a dog toothbrush. Get your dog used to the idea of having his teeth cleaned by massaging his gums and teeth with only your finger at first. Once he’s comfortable, introduce the paste. Rub each tooth with the brush in a small circular motion, only going a few teeth at a time. Ask your veterinarian for more advice.
Of course, regular veterinary visits are the best way to catch any dental problems early and keep your dog’s health in top form. Set up an appointment with your Welland veterinarian’s office today!