The Best Ways To Keep On Top Of Your Dog’s Dental Health

Your dog’s teeth are important to them. How are they supposed to chew their favourite lamb toy, gnaw on bones, or eat their favourite meal without them?! Looking after your dog’s dental health is a top priority. There are a few things you can do to maintain your dog’s dental hygiene.

Organise a dog teeth cleaning

One of our many dog dental services at Girraween Veterinary Hospital is our dog teeth cleaning service. Dog teeth cleaning appointments allow our veterinarian to assess any damage and provide recommendations to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. They can also recommend some excellent products for you to use at home plus provide you with a demonstration on how to best use them with your dog!

Buy dog dental toys

Dental chew toys are designed with textures and materials that clean your dog’s teeth as they play. The textured nubs or tassels on dental toys clean plaque from your dog’s teeth while they chew whilst simultaneously promoting tooth and gum health. Not only will this benefit your dog’s dental hygiene, but it will also encourage mental stimulation. It is a win-win!

Give your dog dental treats

What dog does not love a treat? Dental treats work by encouraging your dog to chew on them for prolonged periods, thereby cleaning plaque and tartar as they munch. Dental chews can also freshen your dog’s breath a bit, so those sloppy dog kisses will not smell quite so strongly of dog food. Additionally, giving your dog dental treats provides an opportunity to mitigate separation anxiety. As these treats are designed for long-term chewing, give one to your dog before you leave them alone for a while. This will keep them occupied and prevent them from becoming anxious over your absence.

Brush teeth daily

While dental toys and dental treats are great preventative measures against tooth decay and gum disease, they are not the only solution to dog teeth cleaning. You need to add daily teeth cleaning to the mix. To clean your dog’s teeth, you can use a specialty dog toothbrush. Alternatively, you can use a finger toothbrush which is almost like a thimble you put into your dog’s mouth.

For toothpaste, your Colgate Optic White is not going to do the trick. Human toothpaste contains xylitol, which is toxic for your dog. It can lead to vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and liver failure. You will need to get a special dog toothpaste which can be chicken or beef flavoured to appeal to your dog’s taste.

Your dog may not like having its teeth brushed, but if you establish a routine, the process will eventually become easier.

  • Make sure you choose a time when your dog is relaxed. Do not stand above them, hold them down, or act in a threatening manner. Try sitting in front of your dog.
  • Let your dog try their new toothpaste. If they enjoy the flavour, it will make the experience far easier.
  • Try running your finger along your dog’s gums and teeth. This will allow you to see how they handle the feeling and it will help them anticipate what is coming next.
  • Now apply the toothpaste to the brush and start brushing in circular motions. Make sure you get the teeth at the very back too! The outside of the teeth is where you will find the most plaque build-up, so make sure that is your priority.
  • Check for bleeding. Like human teeth, a little blood is okay. If you have not brushed your dog’s teeth before, blood can mean their gums are not used to the motion. However, a lot of blood either means you are brushing too hard or it’s a sign of gum disease. If the heavy bleeding persists after you brush lighter, take your dog to the vet for further advice.
  • Give praise. This is scary for your dog, so make sure you let them know what a good dog they are and give them lots of pats. Do not let them feel that you are stressed or anxious.
  • Give a treat. After it is all over, your dog will deserve a treat. This will also help reinforce good behaviour for next time.

This whole process may take days or even weeks to perfect, so take your time with it and try to make it as pleasant for your dog as possible.

Healthy dental diet

Dog food that promotes dental health is an excellent addition to dog dental hygiene plans. Girraween Veterinary Hospital stock Hill’s Prescription Diet dog foods, each of which is designed to provide your dog nutrition to promote healthy growth and development. Plus, dogs find it delicious. Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d Canine is designed with a unique kibble shape and fibre matrix that cleans your dog’s tooth surfaces of plaque and promotes dental health. If you would like to purchase a bag for your dog, pop into the Girraween Hospital and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Keep up regular dog dental check-ups

Girraween Veterinary Hospital offer a huge range of dog dental services including dog teeth cleaning and nurse dental checks. We are passionate about your pets and we always want them to be 100% healthy . It is important to schedule regular dental appointments for your dog so we can monitor and maintain their dental health. If you would like to organise a dog dental check-up, give us a call and speak to one of our friendly vet nurses today.

Book a dental check-up today

Whether it is to organise teeth cleaning for your dog or to enquire about our other dog dental services, the team here at Girraween Vet Hospital are more than happy to help. Give us a call on (08) 8983 1183 or book an appointment online.

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