The importance of dental care for dogs

Updated: Jul 19

Caring for your canine’s canines is just as necessary as it is to care for your own teeth.  Dogs too suffer from dental problems such as bad breath, plaque, gum diseases and tooth decay. So, it’s very important to check to see if your dog’s teeth are healthy and that he’s not suffering from any of the above mentioned hazards.

Your dog doesn’t even let you give him a bath and he’s never going to be okay with you trimming his nails, so dental hygiene is probably going to be a big ruckus as well. But here are a few steps you can take to go about this exercise smoothly.

First and foremost, start early. If you maintain your pet’s dental hygiene from the time he’s a pup, he’ll be used to it by the time he’s older and maybe he’ll even look forward to it. If you start young, the chances of your dog developing dental problems later on in his lifetime are pretty low.

But, if your dog’s all grown up, and it’s only now that his dental care concerns you, worry not. Start by cleaning his teeth, little by little regularly so he gets used to it.

Toothbrushes: The easiest way to clean your dog’s teeth is by means of a toothbrush. Use a canine toothbrush as they are better angled than the toothbrushes we use. However, if you do use a regular toothbrush, ensure that it is a soft bristled one. Remember to brush along the gums as tooth decay on the outside is more common in dogs.

Toothpaste: There are special toothpastes available for dogs with various flavours he might enjoy. Always use toothpaste designed for dogs are they do not contain harmful substances. Never use the toothpaste we use, for your dog, as regular toothpaste contains Fluoride, which is extremely harmful for dogs. Since dogs most likely will not spit out the paste, don’t even risk using regular toothpaste for your pet. Toothpaste also helps your dog get rid of bad breath.

Tooth wipes: If your buddy is much too reluctant to allow you to use a toothbrush, tooth wipes are an option. Get your dog to open his mouth and gently wipe his teeth with it. However, know that brushes are far more effective in freeing the teeth from food particles, bacteria etc.

Chew Toys and Soft/Rubber Bones: Rubber chew toys and bones are also good at removing food particles and a certain amount of plaque. But as fun as these can be for your dog, they might not be as useful as the previously mentioned options.

The trick is to go slowly and gradually. While using toothpaste, apply a little on your fingers and allow him to lick it. This will allow him to develop a taste for it. Also let him sniff his toothbrush or his chew toys before you get set to clean his teeth. If your pal isn’t cooperating with you, start by cleaning only a small portion of his mouth and gradually work your way up.