How to Maintain Your Dog’s Oral Health

Ivanhoe Vet | Maintain Dogs oral health

Good oral hygiene goes a long way to keeping your dog healthy. Far too often dogs teeth are an after thought and at when a dog gets older there is a high probability for teeth to fall out making it harder to chew, digest food.

A sign to look for: Your dog should have a white, shiny, clear & pink gum line. I

Dog Oral Health
If you don’t take care of your dogs oral hygiene, tartar may accumulate, making its teeth yellow which then results in bad breath & can potentially lead into gum disease. 

Plaque is a known breeding ground for bacteria and if it’s not removed, the dog may develop a dental problem such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, tooth root abscesses and tooth fractures. It is estimated that 80 percent of dogs suffer from some form of periodontal disease by the time they become three years old.  

In addition, be conscious if your dog has bad breath because dogs have a neutral smelling breath, hence bad breath indicates build-up of bacteria on the animal’s teeth.

Canine teeth

Bacteria in the mouth damages the teeth, making them wobbly and causing pain in the process.  They can also attack the bloodstream through the roots of the teeth. When this happens, they can get to vital organs like the heart, liver and kidneys.

The good news is that you can prevent this by observing good oral hygiene. Best to start dental care when your dog is just a puppy.

Brush your dog’s teeth

Just like people, brushing of dog’s teeth prevents bacterial development. For this, use a canine toothbrush that can be bought at your local veterinary shop. A double-headed canine toothbrush is great as it brushes at a 45-degree angle and can clean underneath the gum line.

Dog toothbrush

Brushing may not come easy the first time as your dog needs to get to use to it. Apply the same tactics you’d normally use with other forms of dog training. Hopefully you can make the whole experience pleasant for the pet.

Let the dog ease into it little by little. Stop brushing when the dog gets agitated. To help the dog get used to it, speak gently to it while brushing the teeth.

Complement this with the giving if a treat after each brushing session. You would want the dog to consider brushing as a positive experience.


Be sure to use the right toothpaste

NEVER use your toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth as you might poison it. Most toothpastes contain fluoride which can poison dogs.

This is particularly so because unlike humans, your dog doesn’t know how to spit. So you need to use something that will be safe for it to swallow.  


Substitute brushing with dog tooth wipes

Tooth wipes can be less agitating to the dog versus the use of toothbrush. They are designed to be rubbed against the dog’s teeth, thereby removing plaque. They work just like toothbrushes, albeit less effectively.


Go for alternative oral hygiene methods where necessary

Teeth brushing may not always go smoothly. The dog may sweat excessively and even have bleeding gums. When brushing becomes stressful for your dog, here are alternative teeth cleaning methods that will do just fine.

1.) Dental treats for dogs

These are niceties to dogs but they are highly effective methods of maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene. Dogs generally love treats, which makes dental treats a highly effective way to improve the dental health of your dog.

The treats are designed precisely to prevent the build-up of plaque. They often contain active ingredients that help freshen the dog’s breath aside from cleaning the mouth. And because these are treats, your dog will be excited in taking them.

2.) Dog dental chews

You can also make your dog’s teeth stronger and the mouth hygienic by giving your dog some dental chews.

Dog dental chews exist in hundreds of different varieties, all with teeth-cleaning properties for your dog. While gnawing on these chews, the plaque will be scrapped off the dog’s teeth.


Best option: Professional cleanings

Your dog’s oral hygiene does not have to be a do-it-yourself, or DIY activity. The ultimate way to go about it is to put the work in the hands of an expert: your local veterinarian.

In addition to providing you with dental treats for your dog, Ivanhoe vet in particular can help take care of your pet’s dental needs and provide your dog with dental health check. Besides keeping the mouth clean the veterinarian can also detect any dental issues and act on it accordingly.