Taking care of your dog's dental health is just as important as taking care of your own teeth. But what is the best way to do it, and do I really have to brush my dog's teeth? Check out our 5 tips for better dental health to find out!
1. Visit your veterinarian
Just like you need to go to the dentist from time to time, so does your dog. When bringing your dog for his routine visits or vaccinations, ask your veterinarian to also do a dental check. Most dogs also need a professional teeth cleaning treatment regularly. If you want to start brushing your dog's teeth, it is a good idea to have a veterinary check before to make sure there are no inflammations or other painful issues when you start. Your veterinarian will provide guidance on personal recommendations on what is best for your dog.
2. Brush your dog’s teeth
By far the most common problem with our dogs' oral health is the formation of plaque and tartar. Plaque is a bacterial coating that is formed on the dog's teeth, and is caused by both the dog's natural oral flora and diet. When plaque mixes with minerals in saliva, it hardens and builds up, eventually becoming tartar.
Almost all dogs get tartar problems at some point in their lives. However small breeds or breeds with short noses are clearly overrepresented, and they also often get problems at a younger age. Tartar leads in the long run to a worse problem - tooth loss, and the process can be fast. And yes, the only efficient way to prevent tartar is toothbrushing.
Read more about how to brush your dog's teeth.
3. Complement tooth brushing with dental sticks
In addition to toothbrushing, various forms of chewing bones and dental sticks can have a positive impact on your dog's dental health. Chewing is good to prevent tartar, keep teeth and gums in trim and satisfy the dog's mental need to chew.
Many different types of chews and bones are good, but so-called dental sticks are specially developed to keep the teeth healthy and come with properties that are extra beneficial. The most important property is that they are developed with special fibers that will give an increased chewing resistance and a brushing effect on the tooth.
Our dental sticks with insects have special fibers in the shell for a brushing effect, and also contain other specific ingredients such as zinc, mint and parsley that have a positive effect on dental health.
4. Check your dog’s mouth
The routine around toothbrushing is not only good for the toothbrushing itself, but because the dog will also get used to you handling his or her mouth and lips. You will also learn what the dog's mouth looks like when it is healthy, and can then more easily detect any issues, such as damaged teeth or inflamed gums.
5. Avoid these risks to protect your dog's teeth
Too hard bones, such as marrow bones, can cause damage or cracks to the dog's teeth. This is especially important for young dogs, which have more sensitive teeth. You should also not allow the dog to carry stones or other hard/heavy objects in their mouth.
Tennis balls are fun to throw, but do not let the dog gnaw on them. The material in them is surprisingly rough and wears on the dog's teeth.
There are several supplements for dogs with ingredients that claims they will prevent tartar, such as powders to mix with the food or additives to the dog's water. Unfortunately, these products don't have scientific evidence, and should therefore never replace tooth brushing and dental chews.
To summarize: check the mouth, brush the teeth, and a dental stick a day keeps the doctor away... A healthy mouth is key to a healthy dog, so even though tooth brushing can be a challenge - stick in there, it is worth it!