Wet kisses from the four-legged members of your family are the best! But what about when Fido’s breath leaves something to be desired?
We’d all like fresher breath, but did you know dental health is crucial for overall well-being too?
The majority of dogs will need to have their teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian at some point in their lives. However, a good home dental hygiene regimen can help prevent the need for this and increase the time between dental cleanings.
The goal of at home dental care is to remove plaque, the sticky substance that forms on our teeth through the day. Plaque is the precursor to tartar, which requires professional cleaning to remove.
Therefore, the best time to start an at home dental care routine is before the disease starts! Here are some tips and tricks to keep your pet’s mouth healthy and smelling fresh.
5 Pet Dental Products for Fresh Smelling Breath
Brushing is the best way to keep a mouth clean and healthy. It works by removing plaque before it turns into tartar.
Special toothbrushes are available designed for dogs, but human ones can work fine too. Always use dog-formulated toothpaste, as the fluoride in ours can be toxic.
We should all probably be brushing our dog’s teeth daily… Obviously, this isn’t practical for the majority of us! Just remember that anything is better than nothing. Even once weekly will be beneficial for dental health.
2. Dental Sprays and Rinses
Dental rinses and sprays work by killing the bacterial component of plaque, preventing it from turning into tartar.
When used consistently and correctly, these products are almost as effective as brushing.
The important thing to remember, however, is that these products only work on clean teeth to prevent plaque and tartar build-up.
3. Water Additives
Pet water additive is a product that is added to the drinking water will work similarly to dental rinses by incorporating a disinfectant to eliminate bacteria causing plaque.
This is probably the least effective dental product available, but definitely the easiest! And it’s still better than nothing at all.
4. Dental Treats and Chews
This is one of the most commonly used methods of helping prevent dental disease in pets.
A regular rawhide isn’t going to work as well as a product labeled for dental health since specially designed dental treats typically contain an ingredient that disinfects plaque. The debriding motion of chewing can act like brushing and can help also.
The obvious benefit of dental treats are that they are easy and fun, but they are not as effective as brushing and may be high in calories and can cause weight gain if overused.
5. Prescription Dental Diets
Veterinary prescription diets promote oral health helping to reduce plaque formation, which of course is the precursor to tartar. Large kibbles are designed to hold their shape, so the pet is forced to actually chew each one.
Many contain a disinfectant to reduce plaque as well. Diets aren’t as effective as the gold standard of brushing, but can be as effective as dental treats and chews.
It can be overwhelming to start doing dental care at home, but remember anything is better than nothing! Incorporating several different techniques into your dental hygiene regimen will help ensure a more healthy mouth and certainly more pleasing doggy kisses.