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My Dog Needs WHAT?!
The month of February marks one of the most commonly ignored components of health care for man’s best friend, dental care. While on can safely assume that our canine companions despise getting their teeth cleaned as much as we do, it is an essential maintenance to ensure overall well-being and long-term health, for the animal. There are three common ways to keep your dog’s teeth shining brightly all year long: chewable treats and toys, medicinal dental care and a trip to the doggy dentist.
No matter what store, it’s hard to miss the teeth cleaning treats when you are picking up some items for your furry friend. Amongst the brown and neutral colored kibbles a bag of bright green dog bones is sure to catch your attention. One of the most basic ways to help keep your dog’s teeth in tip top condition is a small chew toy that helps reduce the amount of plaque and tartar build up on teeth as well as maintain health gums. The treats should be given to your dog daily for best results, and one can be certain your dog won’t complain about receiving a daily treat! While this is not a long-term solution or the only mechanism, it is a great place to begin, especially if you have a puppy or young dog whose teeth have not had the chance to create a substantial amount of plaque or tartar yet.
When it comes to stepping up the dental game, there are a variety of options pet owners can go. Since the care will mostly be at-home, it is important to consider your everyday routine and the consistency that you will be able to provide to your pet. There are doggy toothbrushes that can be used to break down the plaque off of canines, but they do require daily use. If the idea of brushing your dog’s teeth every night after your own doesn’t appeal to you, you may want to consider a supplement or food replacement option. Just like with humans, there are quite a variety of options to choose from when it comes to both toothbrushes and toothpaste for your pet. Talk to your vet to decide which option is the best route for your dog, and stay clear of the human toothpaste as the fluoride inside can be deadly for your pup.
Lastly, most veterinarians will tell pet owners that a good and necessary upkeep on animal teeth is to get them professionally cleaned as the dog gets older. A trip to the “doggy dentist” includes an initial examination to identify potential problem areas, a full oral exam with x-rays beneath the gum lines and scaling and polishing of the crowns of the teeth. These trips helps your pet’s teeth to be kept in top-notch condition, as well as peace of mind for you that no diseases are actively developing below the surface. It is normally recommended that dental cleanings happen one a year, but could be more frequent depending on the breed.
In conclusion, following these steps to dental care will benefit the well-being, and even the lifetime of your pet. Without the necessary treatments, it is very likely that diseases and buildup could occur. We wish you a happy, healthy and fresh breath filled February!