February is National Pet Dental Health Month. How is your dog’s smile? Do you regularly care for her teeth? Does she get dental check ups on a regular basis? Dental health is more than just the mouth, it can affect overall health. My teeth are looking nice and shiny, and my gums are a pretty pink which means I’m taking good care of my teeth.
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National Pet Dental Health Month
Did you know that by age three, around eighty percent of dog have signs of dental disease? Dental disease can cause bad breath, weight loss, bleeding gums, excruciating mouth pain, broken teeth, early tooth loss, and if not properly cared for, overall health issues. Small breed dogs are more prone to tartar, gum recession, and loss of teeth than larger dogs. Still, every dog needs to have a proper dental care regimen. Dental work and extractions are also very expensive, which is another reason to keep your dog’s teeth in top shape. How do we care for our teeth?
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth is as important as brushing your own teeth. We each started brushing our teeth at bedtime at nine weeks old. Mom started slowly using some special dog toothpaste on her finger and would rub our teeth and gums. Gradually we switched over to a regular toothbrush. Our teeth get brushed every night and we love it.
The toothpaste tastes great and takes the place of a bedtime snack. Always remember to use a toothpaste for dogs, there are several yummy flavors available. We buy our Virbac flavored toothpaste at Chewy.com. For our toothbrushes, Mom gives us hers every few months when she gets a new one. They are soft, and work great for us.
Give PlaqueOff A Try
Our second weapon to fight dental disease is PlaqueOff powder. Mom puts it on our breakfast every morning, and we eat it right up! This powder is made from selected North Atlantic seaweed. PlaqueOff gets into the saliva and works to soften the tartar on the teeth. It contains no additives, artificial preservatives, gluten or added sugar. We first heard about this from breeders in Europe. After using it for about nine months, we had a dental checkup and our teeth looked fantastic. It takes at least a month before you will notice any difference in the teeth.
Healthy Chewing Options
We love to have a nice chew in the evenings when we are hanging out relaxing. Our very favorite is marrow bones. Mom buys them fresh from the local butcher and then freezes them. We prefer the raw ones over the smoked, and Mom says the raw ones are safer. The smoked marrow bones tend to break and crack easier. The bones are hard. If your dog has dental issues, check with your veterinarian before trying marrow bones. We wouldn’t want anyone to break or crack a tooth. As for us, we really grind on them, and that grinding helps scrape tartar and plaque off our teeth.
Bully sticks are another evening chew we enjoy. We have to really chew on them which also cleans our teeth, and creates more saliva in our mouths to help keep all that bad stuff from accumulating on our teeth. Six inch thick ones work best for us. If you are watching your furry waistline, you won’t want to have these too often as Mom says they have a lot of calories. We get one a week each.
Root chews are also a great way to clean teeth naturally, and help make your pup’s breath more kissable. Our root chews are lying around the living room. We usually pick them up and gnaw on them for a while every day or two. They are not as hard as bones, there is no odor, and they don’t make a mess. Root chews also seem to last forever.
As a reminder, we are just a couple of hounds, not veterinarians. We can only post about what works for us. The main thing is to spread the message about the importance of dental care for dogs. If you are not sure what the best options are for your dog, check with your veterinarian. Happy teeth brushing!