We spend a lot of time each week scaling, polishing and removing teeth. This requires a full general anaesthetic in animals. A little time spent on dental care each week could prevent your pet having to undergo this, and avoid the pain and infection risks from gingivitis etc.
There are 4 main options for dental care in dogs:
- Commercial Chews
- Special Diets
- Tooth Brushing
Commercial chews are shapped to encourage chewing but are not attractive to all dogs, and some with powerful jaws will break them up to quickly for them to be really effective.
Special Diets for dental care have a larger kibble with a strong fibre structure. This means more time and effort spent chewing. However some smaller dogs seem to give up on this as they are expending too much effort and some larger dogs just swallow the kibble.
Tooth brushing remain the best way to clean off the teeth. Dont use human tooth paste as it contains too much floride. It is best to find a paste that your dog likes. Doggy toothpastes are now widely available but it is the brushing action that is more important that the paste used. Establish a 'brush tastes nice' scenario, where the pup sees the brush as a treat, before trying to brush the teeth. Once confidence in the brush is estabilished, try brushing the small incisor teeth at the front gently. Gradually increase the number of teeth brushed until you can do the whole mouth without causing upset. The brush movements should be the same as you would use in your mouth. Choose a brush with a soft bristle so that you don't irritate the gums.