As a dog owner, there’s hardly anything you love more than those furry smooches. But there is something that causes strain in a relationship… bad dog breath! Let's just say your dog's oral health could use some help. But regular brushing of your canine companion's teeth is not for another few months.
Did you know there are ways you can clean your dog's teeth without brushing? We'll share some simple supplemental ways to promote good oral health in your dog. No brushing is necessary. This way you can get back to those puppy smooches.
But understand that there is no complete replacement for dog brushing. Or regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Regular check-ups with the vet ensure good oral health and can help detect any problems early.
Although dogs are not as prone to cavities as humans, problems can still occur. Tartar, plaque build-up and gingivitis can also affect our puppies. This can lead to tooth discoloration and bad breath. It can also cause more serious infections and diseases. Cleaning at the vet's office is non-negotiable.
However, you can work your own magic between these cleansings. There are many ways to promote good oral hygiene and clean your dog's teeth without brushing. And today we're going to share seven of those ways with you.
But first let's understand the symptoms of dental disease in dogs -
SIGNS OF DENTAL DISEASE IN DOGS
Being aware of dental disease can help protect your dog from some serious pain.
Some of the common symptoms of periodontal (dental) disease are as follows.
- Red/puffy gums
- Pain while chewing
- Dark brown spots on teeth
- Cracked teeth
Also, be aware of your dog's chewing and eating habits.
If he seems hesitant or in pain while eating, this could be a sign of dental problems.
If you are concerned, contact your veterinarian.
Simple ways to keep your dog's teeth clean
1. Dog chews
The journey to a healthier mouth doesn't have to be unpleasant or boring. In fact, it doesn't even have to be either. There is a great way to brush your dog's teeth without them noticing. Give them a delicious, chewy dog treat! With so many options for dehydrated treats available in India today, our pets are clearly spoiled for choice with a variety of proteins. We're talking about things like yak cheese gummies, bully bars, dehydrated chicken/mutton/fish treats and other such items. They are usually made from natural, simple ingredients, are not consumed too quickly and force your dog to chew.
Chewing and biting are essential for a dog's mouth, mind and of course teeth. It is a healthy, natural and desirable behavior for our dogs as long as they are chewing the right thing!
Through consistency and redirection, you can help teach your dog proper chewing behavior. Without knowing it, they also start scratching to remove any plaque. Regular chewing promotes good oral health. Plus, it can also help relieve stress and anxiety in high-energy dogs. Win win.
2. Chew toys
Chew toys work similarly to dog chews. Although not edible, they encourage regular chewing for dogs. Any chewing will help smooth the teeth and scrape away the tartar.
Chew toys have many other benefits too! If you notice destructive chewing, throw your puppy a chew toy. Redirect your dog's attention away from those fancy new couches you just bought. And reap the benefits of healthy chewing, minus the destruction.
There are dental toys that usually have special ridges and grooves that are unique to help remove plaque and tartar. Think of it as a toy toothbrush for a dog.
3. Oral sprays and gels
Sprays and gels are a convenient way to clean your dog's teeth. They help kill plaque-forming bacteria between brushings. Plus, they're a quick and easy way to freshen up bad breath. Most sprays are easy to use. Simply spray the teeth and gums. Gels require a little more manual work. You will need to rub the gel on your dog's teeth and gums.
4. Dental wipes
Dental wipes work a bit like oral sprays and gels. Grab a wipe and clean your pup's teeth and gums. Many dental wipes come in a variety of flavors that your dog will enjoy. This can help make brushing less stressful for your pup.
5. Cloth wipes
If you don't have dental wipes, consider using a soft cloth to clean the surface of your puppy's teeth. Maybe not as effective, but still better than nothing, right?
6. Dental treats
If you've never heard of dental treats, you're in for a refreshing surprise. Think dog jerky, but with added breath-freshening elements. Chewing dental floss and other dental gums promotes good oral hygiene between brushings.
7. Bone Treats
Bones are another great way to help keep your dog's teeth clean. Bones help as do chew toys and chew treats. When your puppy chews on a bone, it helps prevent and scrape away tartar. One thing to be aware of though – cooked bones are usually a bad idea. They may crack or shatter. They can also cause unhealthy blockages, cuts and other problems.
8. Coconut oil
Is there anything coconut oil can't do? Add supporting healthy dog teeth and gums to the long list.
In case you didn't know, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties. It can help destroy bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. You can either add coconut oil to your dog's food or apply it directly to the teeth and gums.
9. A variety of healthy foods and treats
Before you start doubting the power of healthy fruits, vegetables, and treats to clean your teeth, hear us out!
Whether it's carrots, watermelon, or some sweet potato treats, they provide benefits for your dog's teeth cleaning. You'd be surprised how much it can help with your dog's bad breath!
The more natural food our dogs eat, the healthier their teeth are overall.
Unfortunately, many dog treats out there have sugars, syrups, and other nasty ingredients. So make sure you find natural treats for your pup!
Some vegetables, such as carrots, can be frozen so that your dog has to chew to eat them. It doesn't have to do a ton to scrape away the plaque, but every little bit helps.
10. Food supplements
There are several different dog food supplements formulated specifically to soften and remove plaque.
One exceptional option is what is called Plaque-Off Powder. Surprisingly, it is made from 100% seaweed (special species, of course).
Who knew seaweed could help with dog breath?
Other options use certain enzymes and other ingredients to soften and remove plaque.
Most canine dental cleaning supplements should be administered daily. As long as you consistently remember to add it to your puppy's food, you'll be in good shape.
11. Water additives
One non-scrubbing solution to brushing teeth for dogs is water additives.
Water supplements or additives are liquids that you add to your dog's daily water bowl. They contain enzymes that help break down plaque and tartar.
You simply add it to your pup's water and the solution ends up in their mouth as they drink the water.