If your dog’s breath is keeping you from wanting slobbery smooches then it may be time to get his teeth checked. We spend a lot of time and effort keeping our pets healthy (feeding quality food, routine vet checkups, daily walks) but so often forget about their teeth. Oral hygiene plays an important factor in your dog’s overall health – and can lead to other issues when ignored. Here are the top 3 reasons to care for your dog’s teeth and tips on how to get started.

3 Reasons to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth

1. Unknown pain. Toothaches and sore gums cause pets pain. If you aren’t taking care of your dog’s teeth then you won’t have any way of knowing about these oral health issues or your pet’s pain and suffering.

2. Tooth loss and infection. According to the AVMA, periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs. Periodontal disease is a painful oral condition that can lead to tooth loss and infection.

3. Serious health issues. When dental problems are left unattended or untreated, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and affect your pet’s heart, kidneys or liver – causing much bigger health concerns.

The good news? These problems are preventable with regular dental care. By taking an active role in your pet’s oral hygiene you can reduce the need for dental cleanings by a veterinarian.

Tips to get Started
Here are a few tips to get your dog to open wide and let you clean his teeth.

  • Start young. If possible, get your dog in the habit of having their teeth cared for when they are young. If you start when they’re a puppy, they won’t know any different and it will become a part of their normal routine.
  • Be patient. As a dog owner, it may take you some time to get comfortable (or into a routine) brushing their teeth. Be patient (with yourself and your dog) and be sure to reward your pet after each teeth cleaning!
  • Brush regularly. Brushing daily is ideal but if that is not realistic, adding daily dental supplements, water additives or using dental treats can help keep their teeth sparkling clean. The more you brush, the more your dog will get used to it (and may even start to look forward to it). Dog’s love routines!

Caring for your dog’s teeth won’t only help their breath – but their overall health. Now that you’ve got the basics of doggie dental care, check out these step-by-step instructions how to brush their teeth and other dental products that make teeth cleaning easy and fun!

Note: Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice.