Bitsy is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. If you know anything about Cavaliers, then you can deduce pretty quickly that brushing teeth in that small mouth is no easy feat!

Bitsy-toothy-grin

But I also know the importance of dental health in both people and pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80 percent of dogs have at least some dental disease by age 3. Dental disease can lead to all kinds of other health problems including heart disease. No one wants that, am I right?!?

Fortunately, you have a few choices when it comes to maintaining your dog’s dental health.

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Frankly, I think brushing her teeth is the best option. You can use a human toothbrush, or there are plenty of companies out there that make a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically for a dog. The trick is to start when they are puppies and get them used to it over time.

Dental Treats Help Remove Tartar

greenie
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/homard/2613876622/in/photostream/

If you lack the time and patience to institute a brushing regimen, there are some dental chew toys for dogs which help prevent tartar buildup and support fresher breath. I will not personally recommend any one product over another, but will highlight a few so you can see the variety of choices.

Before you buy anything, take a look at this list of approved dental chews for dogs by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. The products on this list were vetted by the council and meet their standards for recommendation. Of course, no recommendation should override what you know is best for your dog. For example, if your dog is allergic to chicken, read any list of ingredients carefully to make sure the product won’t make your pup sick. There are one or two rawhide products listed which I would never give my dog in a million years because I know rawhides have made Bitsy choke in the past. And of course, another golden rule of thumb is to always be present when your dog eats or chews on a treat or toy just in case there is a problem.

The VOHC has probably not tested every dental chew out there. My list includes a few not listed, but that got pretty good online reviews from dog owners.

Here are three you could check out:

  1. Greenies
  2. Whimzees
  3. Hills Dental Chews

On a side note, feeding your dog crunchy kibbles as opposed to a soft-textured food like canned will also help keep plaque and tartar from building up on those canine canines!

Other Dental Cleaning Products

Water additives have been around for awhile and I am still learning about them and how safe they are long term on dog internal systems. They help prevent the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, thereby reducing plaque and keeping the mouth cleaner.

Tooth and gum wipes work much the same way as an additive by killing bacteria in the mouth which leads to plaque.

A Trip to the Vet

Your veterinarian will keep tabs on your doggie’s teeth during each annual check up and alert you to dental problems. It may be necessary to take her in for a professional teeth cleaning. You can look for signs of tooth decay or tartar build-up between visits. If you happen to notice your dog’s breath getting a lot worse, that could be a sign of tooth decay too.

Remember, you wouldn’t go days, weeks, months, or years without brushing your own teeth, so don’t neglect your dog’s dental hygiene. Feel free to leave a comment below and share what products or methods you prefer for doggie dentures!

 

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3 thoughts on “Tips to Maintain Those Poochy Pearly Whites

  1. I am so glad to see your post on this! Dental hygiene is so important in dogs! Periodontal disease is the number one most preventable disease in dogs. Starting slow and letting your pup “make friends” with the toothbrush by licking off peanut butter, then moving to pet toothpaste, etc is crucial.

    Also I want to highlight that pet toothpaste and ONLY pet toothpaste should be used. Human toothpaste contains toxins that are extremely dangerous to pets that cannot rinse and spit like we can. There are also a few really great pet toothbrushes out there, specifically Kissable’s dog toothbrush is excellent. It has bristles on three sides, inside of just two, eliminating many of the back and forth strokes making for a faster, easier brushing session. You can check them out here: https://nanaspetstore.com/collections/dental

    Thanks for such a great post and for taking the time to learn and care about your pet’s dental health!!

    Liked by 1 person

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