Walked the dog? Check. Fed the dog? Check. Brushed the dog's teeth? Well...
If you're like me, you think you're a stellar dog owner until you look at her teeth. Then, it's a different story. Until the past three months, I've been sadly very guilty of neglecting my poor Lemon's teeth—that is, until my vet gently chided me. There's nothing like a stern look from my vet to snap me back into shape. Other than the unsightliness of plaque, the gunk on your dog's teeth is directly linked to heart disease, but can be prevented with a regular dental routine.
Brushing your dog's teeth once a day is the most important part of her dental routine. If your dog doesn't mind having fingers in her mouth, I recommend using a finger toothbrush (the kind that looks like a thimble) because it allows you to get all the most recessed places in her mouth. Enzymatic toothpaste is a must, and getting poultry or peanut butter flavored paste will make the process more enjoyable for them.
Chew It Out
Durable toys like rope, rubber toys, and bones are great for strengthening your dog's teeth and gums. Chewing on toys for dogs is like flossing for us (how unfair is that?), so make sure to get their favorites and engage them in chewing daily (sometimes it takes a little game of tug-of-war to get them started).
Wet Vs. Dry Food
If your dog is having issues with plaque, try switching them to a hard, dry food that doesn't crumble easily. The hard food will whittle down the plaque and bacteria on your dog's teeth during the chewing process. If you feed your dog wet food like me (I feed her raw food and am reluctant to change it), just make sure you brush daily.
Yup, doggies need visits to the dentist, too. Like humans, dogs can get lots of bacteria stuck deep under their gum line that's impossible for regular brushing to clean. Schedule annual visits to the dog dentist for deep cleanings to ensure your dog's dental health is up to par.
For more advice on your dog's health and training, visit the 'Tips N' Tricks' pack of the Finding Rover app!