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5 Tips For Improving Your Dogs Dental Health

Canine dental health is an important aspect of a dog’s overall health because dental disease can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening complications in the liver, heart and kidney. Although it’s best to begin early, it’s never too late to start your pooch on a preventative plan.

Keep the Crunch
The abrasive texture of dry food can scrape tartar from teeth, and some brands such as Eukanuba and Science Diet offer kibble formulated for preventing plaque buildup. Wet food is more easily lodged between teeth and can cause tooth decay if not properly removed. Try combining the two for a happy, healthy pooch.

Choose Tartar-Fighting Chew Toys
Look for toys designed to improve your dog’s dental health. Similar to dry kibble, rubber balls and chews can remove tartar from your dog’s teeth, and some brands such as Dentabones and Cheweeze are specially designed to improve dental health and strengthen gums.

Schedule Yearly Dental Cleanings
Just like humans, dogs’ teeth need regular check-ups, and most veterinarians recommend an annual cleaning to prevent dental problems. At these visits, your vet can check and treat developing issues as well as clean tartar that wasn’t treated with preventative care.

Start a Brushing Regimen at Home
Brushing your dog’s teeth at home will keep teeth healthy and prepare your dog for dental cleanings at the vet. A double-headed toothbrush designed for dogs is most effective, and you can ask your veterinarian for brushing tips after a cleaning. Be sure to purchase your dog’s toothpaste from a pet store because some ingredients in human toothpaste are toxic to animals!

Know When to Visit the Vet
Sometimes preventative care isn’t enough, especially in breeds like pugs and Pomeranians who are prone to periodontal disease. Bad breath, excess drool and swollen gums are signs of a potentially serious dental problem. If you notice abnormal chewing along with these symptoms, visit your vet to prevent complications.