February is famous for being the month of love, but did you know that it’s also Pet Dental Health Month?
What better time to give you tips on how to maintain your dog’s oral health?
Maintaining good oral hygiene in dogs is essential given that bacteria naturally found in oral cavities cling to the teeth and form dental plaque. If your dog’s teeth aren’t cleaned regularly, dental plaque solidifies and becomes tartar. At this point, there’s only one fix: calling your vet to get your dog’s teeth cleaned to remove the tartar. It’s important to do this quickly before bacteria gain ground and cause gingivitis or worse, a gum infection, conditions which can seriously impact your dog’s health.
Clearly, getting into the habit of brushing your dog’s teeth is best, but how can you even tell if there’s plaque on your dog’s teeth if it won’t let you brush them the usual way?
1. Homemade Toothpaste
This homemade toothpaste recipe for dogs might do the trick. It’s made with chicken broth, so the taste could help you coax your best friend into letting you brush its teeth! Simply mix 1 teaspoon of chicken broth (containing NO SALT OR ONIONS), a little ground mint, a little baking soda, and some vegetable oil into a container. The mixture can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
2. Chew Toys
Why not turn teeth cleaning into a fun game? Chew toys for dogs can be a great help when it comes to maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene.
Although they look like regular toys, dental chew toys are designed to clean teeth. Most even have a cavity where you can add dog toothpaste (there are companies here that specialize in toothpaste for dogs and cats). Just leave the accessory within reach of your dog so that it can”brush its teeth” and the deed is done!
Daily dental treats for cleaning dog teeth are becoming increasingly popular. While they may not be as effective as daily brushing, they’re a good way to get rid of food debris and tartar after meals and can also be used as a reward throughout the day.
You can also buy various mouthwash products for dogs. These can be especially helpful if your dog won’t let you touch its mouth, in many cases, due to pain.
These types of products are generally antiseptic and work to fight tartar and dental plaque, while helping to reduce bad breath. But keep in mind that you have to mix these products with water and some dogs may not like the taste.
There are all kinds of tips and tricks out there to maintain your dog’s oral health and overall health. Just be sure to do your research so you don’t give your dog food, products or supplements that could do more harm than good.