February is National Pet Dental Health month, and believe it or not, there are many ways to keep your pooches pearly whites healthy in addition to brushing. In order for brushing to be effective it should be performed multiple times per week. If you are looking to start a pet dental regimen, I recommend purchasing Virbac CET toothpaste online or from your vet. Virbac toothpaste provides a natural antibacterial action and inhibits the formation of plaque. It also acts quickly to help eliminate mouth odors. If your pet struggles with a toothbrush, you can use something as simple as gauze wrapped around your finger.
There are many other ways to keep your dog’s teeth clean over the course of their life. A daily diet of kibble is going to be much better for your dog than wet food, which can get stuck in between their teeth. The quality of the dog food can make a difference—kibble with higher protein content will be more beneficial in the long run.
I recommend chew toys such as Nylabones to all my clients for multiple issues. Keeping your dog busy with chews and toys is not only good for your dog’s mental well-being, but it is also good for their teeth and gums. Giving your dog chews and toys daily helps to mechanically remove plaque and tartar, and is likely the easiest thing you can do for your dog.
And last but certainly not least, there are all kinds of dog treats designed specifically to help with your dog’s dental health (and breath)! Not all products advertised this way work as well as others but your best bet is to look into products that are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. You can find a full list of products with the VOHC seal of acceptance at VOHC Seal.
Dental issues can lead to much more serious problems as your pet ages. Practicing good dental hygiene as soon as possible is the way to go. The younger you start brushing your dog’s teeth, the more likely they are to get used to it and maybe even enjoy it.
About the Author: Jessica Vezina is a certified dog trainer, working with animals full-time at Manypaws Pet Villa in Westport, MA. When she is not at work, Jessica does occasional volunteer work, and enjoys spending time with her three cats, and rescue dog named Stella. She can be contacted at email@example.com and/or 508-642-4863.