How to Prevent Dog Dental Problems

July 29, 2011

You can take easy steps at home to help keep your dog’s teeth shiny, healthy, and clean:

  • Feed a diet of dry food. Dry dog food (kibble) is abrasive, helping to keep the teeth clean. In general, feeding a dental treat can help to break down plaque and tartar.
  • Provide the right toys. Never let a dog play with an object that’s harder than his teeth. Knuckle bones are too hard for many dogs (nylon bones are a better alternative). Dogs will also occasionally try to eat rocks or other obviously dangerous objects that can break teeth.
  • Brush! Three times a week, brush your dog’s teeth and gums, using a soft toothbrush. Starting this habit early can make it a pleasant (and fun) experience for you and your dog. Be sure to use special toothpaste made for dogs; never use human toothpaste.
  • If a toothbrush seems too challenging for you and your dog, try a finger toothbrush. This a small brush that fits, like a glove, snugly over the index finger. It can be easier to maneuver inside your dog’s mouth than a conventional toothbrush.

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