Doggy Dental Care: Keep up with K9 Hygiene

January 31, 2024

The month of February brings many exciting things–the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and for our pups we can’t forget, Pet Dental Health Month! While doggy dental care may not be the most exciting event on the calendar, it is the most important. Pups have teeth, and their teeth need looking after just like our own. Need to brush up on the dos and don’ts of pet dental care? We’ve got the scoop right here.

Dental hygiene is a very important part of your pup’s overall health and can be a key indicator to other health issues going on. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests pets’ gums and teeth should be checked by their Veterinarian annually, in addition to regular brushing at home, though there are signs that indicate you should seek medical attention sooner. 

Have your pet’s teeth checked if you observe any of the following problems:

  • Bad breath (“Doggie Breath”)
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Extra teeth, retained baby teeth, or discolored teeth 
  • Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • Bleeding, swelling, or pain around the mouth
  • Changes in your pet’s behavior

Causes of Pet Dental Problems

Although cavities are less common in pets than in people, pets can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop. While the severity of dental issues varies, if pet teeth aren’t properly cared for they may need medical intervention with permanent tooth removal. Keep an eye out on any of the following signs of dental distress. 

  • Broken teeth and roots
  • Periodontal disease
  • Abscesses or infected teeth
  • Cysts or tumors in the mouth
  • Malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite
  • Broken (fractured) jaw
  • Palate defects (such as cleft palate)

How to Care for Your Pup’s Teeth

If you’ve ever tried to brush your dog’s teeth, you’re well aware that it’s a challenging endeavor, at best. And while regular brushing should certainly be part of your dental hygiene routine, we’ve rounded up some additional expert-approved dental care strategies to keep your pup’s fangs feeling fresh. 

  • Regular Brushing: Brush your dog's teeth regularly using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Try to aim for at least 2-3 times a week, pending pet cooperativeness.
  • Dental Chews and Toys: Provide dental chews and toys designed to promote oral health. These can help reduce plaque, massage gums, and prevent boredom while keeping those chompers strong.
  • Healthy Diet: Feed your dog a balanced and nutritious diet, as proper nutrition contributes to overall dental health. We recommend avoiding excessive treats that may be high in sugars or starches, and instead opt for a healthy treat like these
  • Regular Vet Check-ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups, including dental examinations. Professional cleanings may be necessary to address issues not tackled by regular at-home care and excessive tartar build-up. 
  • Warning Signs: Be aware of signs of dental issues such as bad breath, swollen gums, or difficulty eating and address them with your veterinarian.
  • Avoid Human Products: Never use human toothpaste or dental tools on dogs, as these may contain ingredients harmful to them. We always suggest using products specifically designed for canine dental care.

By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can promote good dental hygiene in your dog and contribute to their overall health and well-being. In need of a hand for those regularly required brushings? That’s where Barkbus comes in! Schedule recurring appointments of our Signature Service, which includes teeth brushing by our expert pet stylists for every pup that scampers through our doors. Plus, our enzymatic toothpaste helps reduce bacteria in the mouth. Just keep in mind, our regular brushings do not take the place of Veterinary dentistry and professional cleanings! 

Book a cleaning with Barkbus, here!


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