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    A Few Tips for Keeping Your Pup's Pearly Whites Clean

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    Most dog owners have endured the gross experience of playing with their dog, only to have it come up to your face, panting and giving you a whiff of its foul doggy breath. A lot of pet owners assume that bad breath in dogs is normal. But while your dog’s breath will probably have a hint of meat or puppy food, it shouldn’t smell terrible. Really bad breath is actually a sign of poor dental hygiene.

    Like in humans, plaque builds up on your dog’s teeth very quickly, hardening into tartar that can be difficult to remove. Sadly, many dogs experience tooth decay and gum disease within their first few years because owners do not know how to properly care for their dog’s teeth. Keeping up with your pooch’s oral hygiene is extremely important to prevent dental problems, as well as other health problems.

    Cleaning plaque off your dog’s teeth after a day of eating puppy chow is necessary to help it avoid tartar and the nasty consequences that come with it:

    • Bad breath: Nobody likes smelling Fido’s awful doggy breath, but, without a good cleaning, your pooch can’t help the odors that bacteria cause within its mouth.
    • Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease is a painful disease in which the gums pull away from the tooth, and inflammation and infection occur in the mouth. This disease can also lead to tooth loss.
    • Overall health: Periodontal disease can actually spread bacteria to other parts of your dog’s body, causing infections in major organs that negatively affect its health and can even lead to premature death.

    6 ways to keep those pearly whites shining

    Poor dental hygiene doesn’t have to be your dog’s reality. There are some very easy ways to help your dog grow strong teeth and keep them clean throughout its life.

    1. Daily brushing: The most obvious choice for keeping your dog’s teeth clean is to brush its teeth regularly. A daily brushing will remove plaque easily and prevent tartar. Make sure to use a toothbrush designed for a dog’s mouth, as well as doggy toothpaste that won’t make your pooch sick.

      The process of training your dog to let you brush its teeth may be arduous at first. The earlier you begin brushing your pup’s teeth, the better, but with patience, any dog can learn to have its teeth brushed. Take the process slow, letting your dog get used to having your fingers in its mouth, giving it a taste of the toothpaste and brushing just a few teeth at a time to start out.

    1. Chew toys and bones: Nylon and rubber toys can actually help scrape off plaque that builds up after meals. Not only will your pup enjoy playing with a new toy, but its teeth will be cleaned in the process! Raw bones work in a very similar fashion. The gnawing also helps stimulate the gums, which can prevent sensitivity.
    2. Dental treats: Some pet treat manufacturers sell dental treats that aid in your dog’s oral hygiene by fighting plaque and improving your dog’s breath. Your dog can be rewarded with both a tasty snack and clean teeth.
    3. Healthy foods: Feeding your dog nutritious food will make it healthier, which can affect the strength of its teeth. Food and snacks with cereal grains and sugars will stick to your dog’s teeth more easily, causing faster plaque buildup. Instead, give your dog high-quality food and fruits and veggies for snacks. These types of snacks are healthier, won’t stick as much and will actually help clean the teeth as your pup eats them. Dry food is also better than wet food for sticking and can help stimulate the gums.
    4. Oral hygiene supplements: Although they may not keep plaque from building up entirely, oral hygiene supplements can help fight off the beginnings of periodontal disease, and can even help treat existing conditions, promoting total-mouth wellness.
    5. Professional cleanings: Visit a vet to get your dog’s teeth deep-cleaned by a professional once a year. This is usually done during your dog’s annual check-up. Your vet will be able to remove some of the tartar that you can’t remove at home, helping to mitigate hard-to-fix dental problems.

    Make sure to watch out for signs of inflamed or bleeding gums, foul breath and a refusal to eat from your dog. These are all signs of dental problems and warrant a visit to the vet to have its teeth examined.

    With some patience while working on the brushing process and attention given to the types of snacks, treats and toys you give your dog, you can easily implement an everyday dental hygiene routine for your pooch.imac mini купитькрышки �?текл�?нные

    Meet Our Expert

    Dr. Janice Huntingford

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