Dental Care For Canines
There are lots of different ways to provide good dental care for your dog. Dogs, just like people, can have problems with cavities, early tooth loss, gum disease and even tartar build up on the teeth, typically due to poor diets or other health related conditions. While a vet can clean your dog's teeth on yearly visits the process, known as scaling, is very stressful for some dogs and typically requires the dog be anesthetized during the procedure. Maintaining good dental hygiene at home can eliminated or greatly minimize the need for this much more costly and extreme type of treatment.
A good diet of hard, crunchy types of foods can help naturally scrape plaque off of your dog's teeth as they eat. Dried premium types of kibble are often recommended, however you cannot soak or moisten the kibble if you want it to act in a scraping action. Another great option is to provide your dog with large, safe raw bones. Knuckle or joint bones are wonderful since your dog will chew and scrape his or her teeth sparkling clean with just one or two sessions as week. This can greatly improve doggy breath as well and provide stimulation to the gums.
Many dog owners use specialized types of dog toothbrushes and toothpaste to clean the teeth as part of the weekly grooming routine. The pet shop will provide a variety of products but a finger sleeve is often the easiest to use. This slides over your index finger and has rubberized bristles to provide the scrubbing action. If you don't want to use this dog toothbrushes are available or use a soft baby toothbrush available at any drug store. Never use human toothpaste in your dog's mouth. The taste is horrible to the dog and may cause him or her to run for the far side of the room the next time they see you coming. Using doggy toothpaste start with a gentle up and down motion with the toothbrush or finger sleeve to gently scrape against the teeth. If there is significant amounts of plague you may want to have the vet scale the teeth first then start on a maintenance program.
Tooth Cleaning Toys
There are a variety of different styles, sizes and types of specialized toys to help your dog stay entertained but also clean his or her teeth. As with any type of toy or chew object always make sure it is safe for your dog and don't leave the dog unsupervised with the chew object. Hard rubber or nylon toys such as Nylabones and Kongs can also be a good option, just be sure to remove the toys if they are showing signs of wear and tear as they can potentially become choking hazards if pieces can be torn off and swallowed. Some edible tooth cleaning products on the market include biscuits and treats. Although they are often recommended for dogs there are some dogs that chew off chunks and swallow them, resulting in possible blockages and obstructions within the digestive system. If your dog is a vigorous chewer or is likely to swallow the treat whole this may not be a good options for his or her safety.