When you think of ‘good oral health’ your mind probably doesn’t go straight to your dog – who just moments ago might have been licking the kitchen floor or trying to drink from a puddle in the garden.
The truth is even well-mannered canines aren’t usually known for their minty fresh breath. But why shouldn’t they be? After all, it’s never too late to ‘teach an old dog new tricks’, and there are great benefits to keeping your pet’s mouth clean and healthy.
In fact, good canine oral health can be a literal lifesaver. Oral infections, or a build-up of bad bacteria in the mouth, can be responsible for both chronic and acute health issues that impact multiple organs in your dog’s body.
Here are just a few tips to help promote good overall canine oral health...
1. Start paying attention to your dog’s oral health as early as possible
Because puppies are naturally so upbeat and energetic, you might be tricked into believing that they’re bulletproof. After all, they seem to think they are. Unfortunately, though, many of the chronic health issues that can hound your hound throughout their life, actually begin early on.
According to the Royal Veterinary College, over 87% of dogs (and 70% of cats) have some degree of dental disease by the age of three, for example.
Dental health issues aren’t just a matter of your dog’s breath being extra pungent, either, or even of them developing the occasional cavity. Chronic dental issues can cause harmful bacteria to enter your dog’s bloodstream and lead to disease in other organs, such as heart disease.
Good canine dental health begins with regular cleaning sessions and check-ups, ideally from as early in life as possible.
2. Put your dog on a tooth-friendly diet
It’s well known that a diet high in sugar and processed foods wreaks havoc on human teeth, and the diet dogs eat impacts their dental health, too.
Dry food such as crunchy kibble can have a mild cleaning effect on teeth, caused by the physical effect of the kibble rubbing against the surface of the teeth and reducing the build-up of plaque. Dental chews and high-quality, teeth-friendly bites will also provide an abrasive effect on the tooth surface, so help reduce plaque build-up.
Make a point of feeding your dog a nutritious, well-balanced diet, and go easy on sweet and highly processed treats.
3. It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth at home
Canine dental care can – and should – involve regularly scheduled veterinary dental checks, premium-quality dental sticks, and more. But there’s no getting around the fact that brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the indispensable cornerstones of good oral health.
Here are a few things to know about brushing your dog’s teeth…
• Most dogs aren’t keen on having their teeth brushed at first, but they can be trained to cooperate with you
• Dogs need to avoid human toothpaste – human toothpaste often contains ingredients like xylitol that are toxic to dogs
• There are different dog toothbrush styles, including ones that fit over your fingertip – if in doubt, ask your vet for their recommendations and try a few different varieties
• Always brush teeth away from the gumline – food particles should be brushed out and removed, instead of being pushed further into the gums
• Take it slow and gradually get your dog used to the process – you may need to begin by brushing just a few teeth at a time
• You don’t need to brush your dog’s teeth every day, but the more often the better
4. Get your dog’s teeth professionally checked at regular intervals
Even with a meticulous diet and a regular toothbrushing routine, some plaque is still bound to build up in your dog’s mouth over time.
Most vets will recommend that you take your dog in for an annual dental check-up, where your vet will examine your dog’s mouth and give advice about their dental health. In some cases, they may recommend that your dog has a ‘dental clean’ under general anaesthetic – a procedure that involves your dog having their teeth inspected, cleaned, and descaled under the gumline, and then polished.
A professional canine ‘dental’ can range anywhere from £150 to £600.
5. Give your dog a high-quality canine dental stick
The world of doggy dental sticks is a confusing place, with products dramatically ranging in quality.
At their worst, canine dental chews can be pretty dubious and potentially unhealthy . At their best, though, they can be invaluable additions to your four-pawed pal’s oral health regimen.
YuMOVE Dental Care Sticks have been developed by veterinary scientists to revolutionise the dental stick industry altogether. Our unique ActivBarrier™ technology is designed to create a protective barrier over the teeth and gums that targets bad bacteria and supports the naturally good bacteria, promoting a healthy oral microbiome. At the same time, the spiral shape of the sticks helps to effectively scrub those hard-to-reach corners of your dog’s teeth and reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar.
And that’s the tooth of the matter. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Are you looking for an edge when it comes to helping support your dog’s oral health? If so, it’s time to discover our revolutionary new YuMOVE Dental Care Sticks – find out first-hand how they can help target plaque, freshen breath, and make a noticeable difference to your dog’s teeth in just 4 weeks!