Whether you are just starting with a new puppy or you've had your canine best friend for years, it is never too late to get in the habit of keeping his teeth strong and healthy. We’d like to share a few tips to make that as easy as possible.
Make the Change Pleasant
If your dog is not used to having hands near his mouth, you’ll want to go slowly, but it will help you make it part of your fun and relaxation time with your friend. Start slow and be gentle. If you meet with a lot of resistance, you can put a bit of peanut butter on the tip of your finger for him to enjoy as you gently help him adjust to some touching his gums, lips, and teeth – but beware of putting your finger too far in lest he decides you just became part of his unexpected buffet.
Once Fido is used to his teeth and mouth being touched, you can introduce him to a Dog Toothbrush and Dog Toothpaste Combo. Try to work that in at the same time of day, and if not daily, then at least three or four times a week. You might even try doing it on one side of his mouth one day and the other side the next. With the first couple of times, allow him to sniff and lick at the toothbrush and toothpaste. Dogs tend to see with their noses, so allow him to get familiar with the scent and taste and associate it with happy times and his beloved master.
Between brushing, try Dental Treats for Dogs and Dog Dental Chews, as these will keep his teeth clean and prevent bad dog breath. Whatever method you use for his oral health, keep up the happy talk and rewards for good behavior.
A Dog’s Gotta Chew Sometimes
There are a lot of things you can do that will help keep your dog’s teeth strong and healthy, but you probably won’t be able to stop him from chewing on things, especially during his early months when he’s going through some teething issues. Your job is to make certain that what he is chewing is safe for him, his teeth, and your pocket book.
If your puppy is going through a teething episode, here are some ideas. Wet down a small towel or piece of rope and then freeze it. This will give him something to chew on, and the cold will numb any pain he may be having. Just remember to check how this chew toy is holding up and replace it before your puppy starts swallowing any fabric or fiber.
If all else fails, get some bitter tasting chew repellent to use until he has learned not to chew on your expensive leather chair.
After your dog’s adult teeth have arrived, which usually happens when he’s about 7-8 months old, you can start looking at chew toys. Chew toys act as a natural dog teeth cleaner between brushing, but before you buy any, check with your Veterinarian about what he recommends for your particular dog and his breed. Then buy one that is approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).
Training your dog to love the time you spend cleaning his teeth is worth every moment you spend because good oral health will strongly contribute to a longer active life shared with you and your family. Dogs can suffer from the same issues as humans when it comes to bad oral care habits. Gingivitis, Plaque and tartar build-up can lead to bacteria moving from the mouth to other areas of your pet’s body and compromising his health and wellness. When you both build this time into a part of happy moments, you not only deepen the bond between you and your dog, but you lengthen the journey together as well.
Your dog is your friend; you already go out of your way making sure he’s happy, comfortable and healthy, taking care of his oral health is just a bit of gravy on his steak.