Five Dental Health Tips for Dogs

Your dog’s dental health is very important, and unfortunately it’s often an overlooked aspect of canine care. If you’d like to keep your dog’s oral health in tip-top shape, follow these tips from your Lafayette, LA veterinarian:

Regular Mouth Exams

Every week or so, sit down with your dog in a quiet, well-lit area to give the mouth a quick once-over. Gently hold back the lips to reveal the teeth and gums—look for any bleeding, redness, swelling, misaligned or cracked teeth, or anything else that looks out of the ordinary. In addition, take note of any brownish-colored tartar along the tooth surfaces. Let your veterinarian know if you see something amiss.

Quality Diet

Your dog’s dental health—and overall well-being—starts with a high-quality diet. Make sure your canine companion is being fed a nutritionally balanced food that is appropriate for his age, weight, breed, and size. If you’d like a recommendation on a great food for your particular dog, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian.

Chew Toys

Chew toys are excellent for providing hours of entertainment and fun to your dog, but they also have another benefit: they help to scrape away some of the loose plaque on the tooth surfaces before it can harden into tartar, which may eventually lead to serious problems like periodontitis and rotting teeth. Be sure that your dog has plenty of solid chew toys to go around.

Brushing at Home

That’s right, you can brush your dog’s teeth at home to keep them clean in between veterinary visits. You’ll need a toothpaste formulated especially for dogs, a pet toothbrush, and a bit of patience. Start by simply massaging your dog’s gums and teeth with your finger; this will get him used to the sensation of brushing. Gradually introduce the brush and paste. With time, you’ll be able to brush each tooth individually, working your way around the whole mouth in stages.

Canine toothpaste and pet toothbrushes are available at your local pet supply shop—ask your vet for a recommendation.

Veterinary Check-ups

Of course, regular visits with your veterinarian are another great way to keep your dog’s oral health in check. Keeping regular appointments allows your vet to catch any problems early, treating them before they’re allowed to develop into more serious issues. If your dog needs a veterinary examination, call your Lafayette, LA animal clinic today to set up an appointment.

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