Vet Blog

Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

January 01, 2021

Well, it finally happened. Your dog just came in for a big slobbery kiss and you got a whiff of some terrible breath.

Yuck! No one wants their pup licking them with gross breath. So, what do you do now? Here are 5 tips to get your dog's stinky breath under control and to keep his teeth clean!

Brush Your Dog's Teeth

This probably seems too simple. The truth is, halitosis, or bad breath, is caused by plaque and other bacteria growing on your dog's teeth. This bacteria gets into the gums and in between teeth making it hard to get out without brushing. Ideally, you should start brushing your dog's teeth from the time you bring him home. It should be part of the grooming routine just like brushing or clipping his nails. Some veterinarians recommend brushing every day, but most will tell you about three times a week should do the trick. If you have a small breed like a Yorkie or a dog that eats a wet food-only diet, you may need to brush more often.

Make sure you purchase dog toothpaste because human toothpaste has xylitol which is toxic to dogs. Dog toothpaste comes in lots of tasty flavors for your canine friend such as peanut butter and chicken flavor. Yum! You can also buy dog-specific toothbrushes at your local pet store. However, a soft-bristled human brush (like for kids) will also work. If your dog hates the toothbrush you can try the rubber kind that slips over your finger.

Provide Chew Toys or Dental Treats

There are a few toys or treats that can help keep plaque and tartar from developing along with regular brushing. Toys like a Kong are good to hide toothpaste or special tooth-cleaning treats in. Treats like Greenies Canine Dental Chews are great for maintaining your dog's oral health. You could also provide a rawhide bone, but be very cautious with these as dogs can harm themselves with rawhide. As soon as it gets soft, take it away from your dog. There are other chew toys with ridges or bristles that remove plaque and tartar as your dog chews. This is a win-win for oral care and keeping your dog occupied and out of trouble. A word of caution, though. Toys alone will not keep your dog's teeth as clean as they need to be. These need to be combined with brushing.

Feed Dry Dog Food

Maybe you've never thought about it, but dry food actually helps keep your dog's teeth clean. The rough edges scrape away plaque and tartar while your dog eats. Feeding wet food can actually negatively affect your dog's dental health. If you choose to go the wet route, make sure you're brushing regularly to help combat periodontal disease.

Try Natural Remedies

Another option is to take the natural remedy route in addition to regular teeth brushings. Adding plain, unsweetened yogurt to your dog's daily food can help with bad breath. Make sure there isn't any sweetener and only give a couple of teaspoons. Be careful with this one in case your dog is lactose intolerant. Others swear by sprinkling some parsley or dill over their pet's food. Both herbs are actually antibacterial and are known as natural breath fresheners. Ginger tea could also be a good option. Put a couple of slices of ginger into hot water and then let it cool and give your dog a teaspoon or two. Not only will this freshen the breath, but it will help with tummy troubles like indigestion. A few other options are carrots, apple slices, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, or a puppy probiotic. Whatever you choose, you should just check with your veterinarian to double-check it's ok for your specific dog.

Professional Dog Teeth Cleaning in La Porte, TX

There is no shame in this, but sometimes your dog's teeth are just too far gone, and you need to start with a clean slate. The best way to get back to zero is to take your pup to your vet and let them do professional dog teeth cleaning. It will cost you a bit of money, but you'll know that your dog's teeth are completely clean. Some pet owners opt to take their pet every 2 or 3 years for professional dog teeth cleaning just to maintain the best health as possible. Your dog will be put under anesthesia during the procedure and your vet will go in and clean around the gums and between the teeth. Your vet may also find rotten and decaying teeth and need to extract them.

Call Your Veterinarian

It's extremely important to your dog's overall health to take care of his teeth. Try these 5 tips and call (281) 471-6834 to talk with your veterinarian at Bay-Porte Animal Hospital about dog teeth cleaning!