By the time your dog gets to about 2years old, s/he should have had their teeth looked at by a professional who will be able to give you an indication of how frequently to go for follow up treatment based on their findings.
It is a good idea to make home dental care a regular part of your routine to keep your dogs’ choppers in good health and your veterinary costs down.
Avoiding bones that splinter easily, and rather stick to things that are softer than your dogs’ teeth like rubber balls. Look out for treats and chews that help reduce plaque and tartar build up.
The rough texture of dry food will keep your dogs’ teeth clean, as will dry biscuits. Dental chew sticks can also be found at your local pet store.
Of course, you can also brush your dogs’ teeth. Although your dog may resist the ‘activity’ at first, but with enough repetitions it will eventually become part of normal life. If your dog protests too much you might need to go for a check-up, as there could be gum sensitivity. Make sure you get a toothbrush and toothpaste that is approved by the AVDC – a flavor like chicken will make the task a bit easier for you to administer. Dental wipes are also available as an alternate option.
To get your dog used to brushing start with massaging his or her gums for a few minutes and gradually build up to 30 minutes, holding the head firmly but not fighting.
Your dogs’ breath will also give you an indication of tooth and gum health. A particularly foul-smelling stench, loss of appetite or excessive vomiting and drinking can indicate that it is time to pay a visit to the vet. Pink gums (rather than red of white) are a sign of healthy gums.
Is there something that worked well for you and your dog? Let us know.