Dental health is frequently overlooked by dog owners. Let’s be honest, they sometimes dread brushing their own teeth every night, let alone bother about ours. Also, some people already expect a dog’s breath to stink!
That is probably why many dogs have a hard yellow layer on their teeth, particularly those at the sides and the back of the mouth. What’s causing that is tartar build-up.
Tartar is a form of hardened plaque. A build-up of it may cause the gums to be irritated and inflamed resulting in gingivitis. If gingivitis is untreated, it may then turn into periodontitis, a severe and painful gum disease that affects overall health.
As you can see, lack of dental care is a slippery slope. So the best way to prevent all these problems is to make sure that you keep plaque and tartar at bay!
When I was on a homemade raw diet, my teeth were all white and sparkly! Chewing on raw meaty bones helps to gently rub off dirt and tartar. Not only that, raw meat contains natural enzymes that help to clean teeth.
The trick is to give your dog a big piece of raw meaty bone to work on if not daily, weekly! You will see results in a few weeks.
Examples of raw meaty bones:
- Poultry feet, neck, and wings
- Beef or lamb shank
Do not feed cooked bones, as they may splinter and cut your dog’s digestive system. Do not feed weight-bearing bones too because they are extremely hard and may break your dog’s teeth.
Always watch your dog when giving her bones. If your dog tends to swallow without chewing, start by holding on to the bone while letting her chew off the meat and soft bones.
Mama finds that this is the best way to keep your dog’s teeth in tip-top condition.
Now that I am commercial raw (freeze-dried ground meat) due to convenience, mama gives me a raw meaty bone once a week to control tartar build-up.
If you prefer not to feed a raw diet, then regular toothbrushing is your best bet. Get a toothbrush that fits your dog well. If it’s too big, brushing will be uncomfortable for your dog.
Mama is currently using SigOne 360° toothbrush. It has a small brush head with soft, fine bristles all round. I enjoy brushing more now due to this design!
Here’s how to brush your dog’s teeth.
Professional dental scaling
Some dogs are more predisposed to dental problems due to breed or other factors. Hence, they may need professional cleaning from time to time.
Proper dental procedures require anaesthesia and pain control. Anaesthesia has its risks but it is necessary because deep cleaning below the gum line, teeth extraction, and dental treatment are painful and require your dog to be still.
Just be sure to send your dog to a reputable vet clinic with an experienced periodontist and dedicated and intensive anaesthesia monitoring.