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dental health for dogs

Dog dental hygiene: what you need to know

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inspecting dog teeth for pet dental health month

It’s important to take care of your dog's dental hygiene, because oral health affects your dog’s entire body. Healthy teeth and mouth are a big contributor to a healthy, happy dog! 

Here are 4 things you need to do to keep your dog’s dental hygiene in top condition: 

Check for dog-breath

Dog-breath isn’t normal! Unpleasant breath smells can be caused by an infection in the mouth or issues of the digestive tract. 

One way to combat this is to start from the source: Clean your dog's food and water bowls frequently, as sitting bacteria can easily be absorbed into your dog’s food or water, resulting in bad bacteria entering your dog’s system. If cleaning your dog’s food and water bottle doesn’t fix the issue, continue to check for oral disease, brush your dog's teeth and if it gets overly concerning, take your dog to the vet for a professional cleaning. 

Know the signs of oral diseases in dogs

Periodontal disease is caused by periodontitis bacteria infecting your dog’s oral cavity. This is super common in dogs and causes severe issues if it’s not properly treated.

If periodontal disease is not treated, chronic pain, gum erosion and loss of bone and teeth might occur. It is important to know the signs of oral diseases in your dog so you can immediately treat it and bring your dog back to a happy and healthy life!

The most common symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Bleeding or inflamed gums
  • Brown or yellow teeth 
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody or “ropey” saliva
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chewing on one side of the mouth
  • Extreme drooling
  • Blood in water bowl or on toys

Prevention is key with oral diseases. Properly taking care of their oral health can help prevent or detect early signs of periodontal disease. Brushing your dog’s teeth will help stop plaque buildup and will promote healthy gums and teeth.

Brush your dog’s teeth daily

In order to make teeth-brushing easy for both you and your dog, it’s important to desensitize your dog to having their mouth handled. The best thing to do is start this as a puppy. You will want to reward your puppy every time they let you go near their muzzle, and soon enough they will let you feel their gums and teeth for tooth decay and gum disease. Then you can eventually introduce them to a toothbrush.

When brushing your dog's teeth, make sure to use the right toothpaste as human toothpaste has many chemicals that should not be ingested by your dog. Never use human toothpaste on your dog. There are dog specific-toothbrushes and toothpastes that promote gum health and are made for your dog’s teeth.

Take your dog for routine dental cleanings

Dogs should go for dental exams and teeth cleanings just like humans do. Professionals can give your dog an optimal teeth cleaning for a fresh start. Even if you are brushing your dog's teeth every day, teeth cleanings and check-ups are essential to your dog’s dental hygiene needs. Here are a few things to consider when looking for proper dog dental care:

  • Open to anesthesia-free dental cleanings if this is something you are considering.
  • Dental practitioners are open, honest and communicative with each pet owner.
  • They genuinely care about your dog and their physical health.
  • Considers your dog's needs and takes every precaution to create a safe, secure and calming environment for your dog.

Feed your dog high quality foods and chews

Try feeding your dog dehydrated, freeze dried, home-cooked or raw food. Live foods without starch and unnecessary filler ingredients will help promote proper dental health. Kibble is highly processed and filled with sugar, which can hurt your dog's teeth. 

High quality chews are amazing for your dog’s oral health because they essentially let your dog brush their own teeth. It is also a great way to keep them occupied, mentally engaged and it can be lots of fun too! We have lots of chew options for every different type of chewer out there!


We have many food options available for your dog to enjoy!

For more options to better benefit your dog's health, check out all of our dental care options for a happy and healthy pup!

1 comment

  • This post has definitely helped me a lot.

    - Lethy Peters

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