How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

As a responsible dog owner you need to know how to clean your dog’s teeth properly.

Dogs, like humans, have the problem of plaque forming on their teeth. The thin film it produces is a combination of food particles, bacteria and minerals present in the dog’s saliva. Plaque should be removed by brushing a dog’s teeth; or as an alternative, giving your dog chew toys or chew treats.

If you fail to remove the plaque with regular brushing it will form tartar on the teeth, which leads to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Plaque can be removed with regular tooth brushing at least once every couple of days. Plaque can convert to tartar in as little as three days if you don’t remove it, and then it can’t be removed by regular teeth brushing.

To clean your dog’s teeth, you’ll need a pet tooth brush with soft bristles and special pet toothpaste available at most pet stores. Don’t use toothpaste for humans because it will cause an upset stomach in your dog.

Pet toothpastes usually have a meaty flavor, so your dog should like the taste. The first time you undertake brushing your dog’s teeth, let it lick the toothpaste off your finger. Then put some on your dog’s teeth and rub it onto the teeth with your finger. Then start brushing, using gentle back and forth strokes.

You’ll need to clean each tooth to ensure that the plaque is completely removed. If your dog has a difficult time getting used to having its teeth brushed, you can clean only its front teeth and gradually include the back teeth.

Dog chew treats are good scraping agents and help remove the plaque from a dog’s teeth. Substitute your usual dog treats with dental chew treats which have a hard surface that helps clean the teeth.

Plaque can also be removed by giving your dog chew toys. If the toys have a tough texture they’ll remove the plaque. An inexpensive alternative to a chew toy from a pet store is to give your dog a rope or tennis ball to chew on. Just be sure that when buying chew toys you don’t select one that is too hard or your dog could fracture its teeth.

If you can afford the cost, it’s a very good idea to have a regular professional dental cleaning performed by your vet at least once per year. The vet will anesthetize your dog and remove the calculus and plaque deposits.

Many studies have shown that dogs fed kibble food have healthier teeth than ones that eat canned food exclusively. Dry kibble food helps remove plaque. If your dog needs to be on a diet of soft canned dog food, you can supplement this with some dry chew treats which will provide the same benefit as kibble and you’ll find that you need to clean your dog’s teeth a lot less.

Dental Treats For Dogs

Dental treats for dogs are not necessarily a discretionary indulgence but are useful in keeping a dog’s teeth and gums healthy and its breath smelling fresh. There are many kinds of dental treats available for dogs and you can choose from a wide selection at Petco, PetSmart, or any pet supply store.

Among your choices for dog dental treats are:
* Hard biscuits, which are relatively inexpensive, yet effective at preventing tooth decay.
* Dog dental treats designed to give a dog the maximum benefit from chewing the treat.
* Fresh-breath dog dental treats that include ingredients like cinnamon to freshen a dog’s breath.
* Dental treats made from natural bones or rawhide.
* Soft treats that are nutritionally balanced and specially formulated with vitamins and minerals.

Some of the benefits of giving your dog dental treats include:
(1) Chewing dog dental treats strengthens a dog’s jaw muscles.
(2) Dog dental treats freshen a dog’s breath.
(3) Dog dental treats will scrape the dog’s teeth, helping to keep them clean and preventing plaque build-up.
(4) Dog dental treats massage a dog’s gums to keep them healthy.
(5) Dog dental treats augment the benefits of daily tooth-brushing.
(6) Dog dental treats can be given to a dog if it strongly objects to having its teeth brushed.
(7) Daily dog dental treats help prevent tartar and tooth decay.

Dog dental treats are designed to please almost any type of dog and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, textures and flavors. You can choose from doggy treats that are nutritionally balanced, specially formulated, fortified with dog vitamins and minerals, wheat-free, holistic, organic, made from veggies, plus dozens of other formulas and tastes.

Some dog dental treats are made from natural bones; rawhide that has been knotted, twisted, chipped, and compressed; or biscuits filled with bone marrow. The hard texture of crunchy dog biscuits helps loosen the plaque that builds up on a dog’s teeth and along the gum-line. When a dog is given hard treats regularly it will keep plaque from accumulating, and also exercises the dog’s jaws and helps strengthen its teeth.

Some dog treats are soft and don’t offer the same dental effects that hard treats provide. However, some soft treats are nutritionally balanced and specially formulated with added ingredients to provide basic dental health. These treats are identifiable by the words “contains high levels of calcium” or “fortified with vitamins and minerals” listed on the label.

When choosing dog treats be sure they’re manufactured from 100% natural products that make them safe for a dog to eat. Treats made from natural sources also taste great so a dog won’t even notice its teeth are being cleaned at the same time. Doggy dental treats come in a wide array of flavors like cinnamon, peppermint extracts, chlorophyll, parsley seed, and baking soda. There are enough choices to please any dog’s palate.

Next time you’re in a pet store, buy your best friend some doggy dental treats to help keep its teeth clean and reduce the chances of it developing gum disease. An added benefit of treats are that they help eliminate doggy breath – and we all know how overpowering that can be at times.