February is National Clean Teeth Pet Month. I know. Seriously? In honor of this momentous occasion I’m going to make sure you know how to brush Fido’s teeth to keep them in the best of health.
I know what you’re thinking. “My dog’s teeth look great!” Stout's look amazing, thank you. Does your dog have bad breath? Stout does sometimes. Time to clean those teeth.
There are a lot of great dental chews etc out there to help cut down on plaque. While they’re great, they’re expensive and not the most effective. A pack of 20 Greenies is $18. Yikes.
Stout cannot sit still, which is why it's great to practice brushing his teeth and handling your pup’s mouth from an early age to build trust. Puppy teeth are the sharpest little razors. As they get older, the teeth aren’t as sharp but the jaw is stronger. The more you practice early on, the less likely he’ll give you a hard time later on.
Here is a great video from Vets showing you how to brush your pet’s teeth from Dr. Cal Williams with the Pyramid Vetrinary Hospital.
Human toothpaste is bad for pups because fluoride is not good for dogs. Instead, use toothpaste - not only does it have ingredients that are good for dogs, they're usually specially flavored for them, too. You can find a good starter kit at most major pet stores, like THIS ONE at Petco. This kit is great because it has a regular brush as well as one that goes on your finger, which I find much easier to use. The toothpaste is peanut flavored, so it's a bit of a treat for Stout, too.
In between brushings, I do like to use dental chews. Stout gets complimented on his beautiful teeth all the time, so I have these to thank! They come in different sizes (Stout clearly eats the LARGE size).
Stout eats them pretty fast but when he was a puppy it would last him the entire day. They’re not cheap, but extremely effective and I was introduced to them from Dr. Flowers at Silerado Veterinary Hospital in Napa (who by the way, is AMAZING if you ever need a vet in NorCal). I call them doggy crack because Stout #canteven when he sees me grab one of these treats from the cabinet.
There are some serious health risks if your dog’s dental health is neglected. Periodeontal disease, gingivitis, mouth tumors and various gum disease are all possible effects of a lack of dental health. We brush our teeth twice a day and see a dentist regularly...why wouldn't we take care of our pup's teeth, too???
Do you have any other ways you keep your dog’s teeth clean? Share your tips and tricks with me!