There’s no doubt about it—your dog needs regular preventive dental care! The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that more than 80 percent of dogs develop gum disease by the young age of two. Veterinarians believe that dental disease predisposes dogs to heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory ailments, among other illnesses. Cleaning the teeth is the key to reducing the incidence of dental disease in your dog. However, even with diligent, daily care, your dog may require professional dental cleanings during his lifetime, just like humans do. But you will drastically reduce the number of expensive professional dental cleanings, as well as make a significant contribution to his overall good health, by cleaning your dog’s teeth at home.
What Can I Do?
Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth regularly, but even weekly brushings can make a huge difference in his oral health. Food residue that is allowed to accumulate on your dog’s teeth can morph into plaque and tartar surprisingly quickly.
- Start by using your finger to gently massage his gums.
- Put a small dab of doggy toothpaste on your index finger and let your dog lick it. Praise him for being brave.
- Apply another dab on your finger, gently lift up his outer lips, and massage his gums. Ideally, it is best to massage in a circular motion, but in the beginning, you may need to be satisfied with simply getting your finger in your dog’s mouth.
Remember to keep a positive attitude, praising and reassuring your dog throughout the process. Once your dog is comfortable with this process, follow these quick steps:
- Let your dog lick some toothpaste off of a doggy toothbrush or gauze pad, and again, praise him for being brave. This will help accustom him to the texture of the brush or gauze while building his confidence.
- As before, lift the outer lips and expose the teeth. Most owners find it easiest to start with the canine teeth—the large ones in the front of the mouth.
- Once your dog is accustomed to you brushing a few teeth, progress to a few more, and then a few more until you have brushed all of the teeth.
The thought of brushing our dogs’ teeth as often as we’d like can seem overwhelming at times. Consider supplementing your brushing routine with natural dental treats and specially designed dental toys that help clean the teeth and reduce built-up plaque and tartar. This time spent caring for your best friend’s dental health will create a solid bond between the two of you—and best of all, you’ll have peace of mind that you’re doing everything you can to clean his teeth and freshen his breath.
How Can Nylabone Help?
Chew toys and bones can be great allies for keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. Nylabone offers a wide variety of both edible and non-edible bones and chews that satisfy a dog’s natural urge to chew while helping to clean his teeth at the same time.
Edibles: The food your dog eats and the treats he enjoys play a vital role in the overall health of his mouth. Hard kibble and long-lasting chews help to scrape away plaque and tartar. Consuming edible dental chews like Nutri Dent Dental Chews can also help to freshen breath and remove plaque and tartar buildup.
Chews and Toys: Keeping your dog busy with chews and toys is not only good for his mental well-being, but it is also good for his teeth and gums. Giving your dog chews and toys daily, like Dura Chew Nylon Bone and Romp N Chomp Treat Toys , helps to mechanically remove plaque and tartar.
Maintenance: Supplement tooth brushing with Nylabone’s Advanced Oral Care™ with Denta-C™ plaque-inhibiting foams, mouthwashes, and sprays, all of which can reduce the incidence of plaque and tartar buildup.