Brush up on your dog's dental health this month
As February is Pet Dental Health Month, Seana from Dashing Dogs Dental shares her tips on keeping a good dental health routine for your dog.
If you haven't been paying enough attention to your pup's dental health lately, now is the time to make a change. As February is National Pet Dental Health Month, dog owners are being reminded of the importance of maintaining a good, at-home dental routine to help their dogs be as happy, and healthy, as possible and prevent more serious problems developing.
According to Hill's Pet, research shows that at around the age of 2, 80% of dogs have some sign of dental disease, so to help you brush up on your dog's dental routine, we've asked Seana, founder of Dashing Dogs Dental to give us some easy to ways to improve your pup's dental health.
Dental Chews Although keeping a good teeth cleaning routine ideally would start as a puppy, Seana encourages dog owners to start now if they haven't already, and one easy way she suggests is to pick up some dental chews. "There are so many dental chews that we love, like all natural beef back straps, chicken or turkey necks and raw bones. There are also more modern day solutions like Greenies and Whimzies, but if you go with something manmade, I would recommend Crumps Plaque Buster dental chews, made with crushed oysters and sweet potato."
Whatever your preference, your pup will love them, so don't delay!
It's a fact that most pets don't enjoy getting their teeth cleaned, no matter how much they trust you, but it's necessary to protect your pup in long run.
"The most effective, and most difficult option for most, is teeth brushing with a soft bristled toothbrush and pet safe toothpaste. The tooth brush not only goes over teeth it goes over gums, and similarly to humans, no other techniques address the gums," explains Seana. Her top tips for a stress-free at-home brushing are:
1) Take a deep breath and remember, you can do this! Your dog may want to play instead, or simply not love the idea at all, but you can't give up. Don't rush it, you're the boss, it will come!
2) The best way to position your dog is with them sitting bum at your feet and head facing away from you, then you can gently handle their snout. They may push against your hand that's holding their snout, but that's fine. 3) You can start to lift up their lip where you can spend some time handling the mouth - no need to start fully brushing just yet unless they give you the green light. After the two of you get comfortable with this feeling you can move on.
Reward with Treats
Over time, your pup will adapt to the routine, but as well as staying consistent, Seana suggests rewarding your dog with something special to form a positive association with the process. "Make sure you conclude your teeth brushing session with a special reward - play, treat or affection - even if the process doesn't go well. You want your dog to form a positive association with teeth brushing, so a happy ending this time may make him more agreeable next time."
Water Additives, Gels and More
Although there is no replacement to brushing your pup's teeth, according to Seana, there are other easy additions you can make to enhance your dog's dental care routine. "There are water additives that are heavily diluted, and oral gels that you can dab at the back of the top teeth on both sides and let your pup work it through on their own. We also hear of good results with Plaqueoff powder, which has a small scoop inside that you add to their food. It's main ingredient is kelp which acts as a gentle abrasive."
Visit a Professional
Keeping up with a good at-home dental care routine will help prevent more serious problems occurring, but, just like humans, your pup will still need professional cleaning throughout the year. "You'll need to take your pet to see the veterinary dentist at some point and as you visit the vet over the years, they will point out plaque build up," adds Seana. Dashing Dogs Dental offers a no sedation, all natural approach to teeth cleaning, and has over a dozen locations across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
Exclusive offer for PawSwap app members
PawSwap app members can collect a FREE bamboo toothbrush dog toothbrush available to collect at Dashing Dogs Grooming & Boutique on Cardero Street, Vancouver, throughout Pet Dental Month. No purchase is necessary, simply download the free PawSwap app today and Redeem your Reward . PawSwap Premium members can also redeem $30 off dental cleaning at Dashing Dogs with purchase during the month of February.