While almost everyone agrees that brushing your pet’s teeth is the ideal way to handle dental care, the reality is that some pets will not tolerate having their mouths handled. By “not tolerate” I mean that they might want to growl, nip, or just thrash around a lot to protest the cleaning. While you may just want to abandon the task altogether, it is actually very vital to maintain proper dental care for your pet. The failure to do so can lead to many health complications and illnesses down the road, as well as an expensive dental procedure which may involve several extractions.
One solution to help ensure dental health and hygiene is to switch your pet’s regular diet to a food that helps with tarter control. Just like humans, dogs collect bacteria and plaque in their mouths, and it turns into tarter after 36 hours. If tarter builds up and isn’t dealt with, it can lead to painfully inflamed gums, infection, and periodontal diseases. There are many different dog foods available that facilitate healthier teeth, and some non-prescription options can be found at your local pet store. Not to mention, dry kibble food is way more effective at controlling tarter buildup than wet food that can stick to and accumulate in between teeth. Always check with your veterinarian about which one of these diets would be most appropriate for your pet!
Another option is to incorporate dental chews into your pet’s routine. Ideally, you want to look for products that have the Veterinary Oral Health Council stamp of approval. Other products may work as well, but these have passed some specific rigorous standards. Greenies dental chews are one great choice–available in both regular and lite varieties to accommodate those pets who are watching their weight. Make sure that you buy a dental chew that your dog will take at least 30 minutes to chew, otherwise it won’t achieve the optimal benefit of the chew. In fact,there are many things that your dog can chew that will help its dental hygiene, but dental chews have additives to fight tartar as well as freshen breath – which let’s face it, usually dog breath doesn’t smell too pleasant!
While dental chews are very useful, they should be used in conjunction with traditional tooth brushing in order to keep your pets’ teeth nice, white, and healthy. Your veterinarian may have recommendations as to which dental chew might be best for your pet, as well as a dental plan in general. You may have to try a couple different varieties to find one that your pet enjoys and that also agrees with their system – so be patient! Your pets’ dental hygiene is just as important as yours, so treat it as such. Also, always read the directions on the packaging, because some are not intended for daily use, and they might work differently than you assume. With a healthy balance of several teeth cleaning methods, you will hopefully avoid a costly trip to the doggy dentist!