Dental Hygiene in Dogs – The Root of Many Evils

Your pooch relies on you to provide the dental care that they need. Before we start it is worth pointing out that your dog will not suffer with a similar number of cavities like we do. But they do suffer with similar dental problems such as gingivitis and plaque.

In fact, The American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of three have some form of gum disease.

If these kinds of problems are not treated, then your dog can suffer from worse problems such as kidney disease, liver and heart problems. So, it is essential that you take care of your dog’s teeth and this article will provide the tips and advice that you need to do just that.

Clean your Dog’s Teeth Properly

If you have never cleaned your furry friend’s teeth before then you are in for a treat! They will not be excited about it at all and you need to be a bit cunning to get the job done. It is best to go for teeth cleaning when your pooch is tired – say after a long walk. They will be a lot happier to sit and let you wield the toothbrush.

Start the teeth cleaning process slowly and speak soothingly to your pet as you make each attempt. If you do not manage an effective clean the first time around don’t worry – keep practicing every day until you get it right. Honestly, they will get used to it eventually if you persevere and like any training, remember to use positive reinforcement. I know it sounds strange to give them a treat after cleaning their teeth, but it’s not like giving your kid a sweet after they’ve cleaned theirs. Alternatively, you can give them their favorite toy to play with.

The earlier you start teeth cleaning the better. If your dog is older then they will take to it eventually. If you have a puppy then start straight away.

CARE: NEVER use human toothpaste for the job as it will contain fluoride which is dangerous for dogs. Be sure to buy special dog tooth paste for the job – and if you get a particularly stubborn hound who doesn’t like fresh minty breath, you can even get flavored toothpaste, so they think they’re actually getting something tasty whilst you’re doing the dreaded deed!

How eating and chewing benefits doggie dentures

It is even more important to clean your dog’s teeth regularly if they eat wet food rather than dry food. The reason is that wet food can stick to their teeth and cause decay more easily.

Your dog can clean their teeth through the act of chewing hard dental and hard rubber or nylon chew toys also massage their gums and exercise their oral structures. A nice bone to chew on will also help get rid of tartar build up and strengthen your dog’s teeth.

Look out for these possible dental problems

If you are brushing the teeth and you notice blood or your pooch cries out in pain then this is a sure sign they probably have a problem that needs professional attention.

Try to check inside your dog’s mouth regularly – like once every week. There are a number of symptoms that can indicate dental hygiene problems and these include:

  • Your canine has suddenly changed their eating habits
  • They are drooling excessively
  • You can see that they have a tooth missing
  • Their gums look swollen, overly red or there are signs of bleeding
  • You can see growths in their mouth
  • They have really bad breath
  • They have started to paw at their mouth

If you spot any of these then it is time to take your beloved pet for a check-up with the doggie dentist! You should visit the veterinarian at least once a year for an overall health check-up anyway and this will include an oral check, but please don’t delay until the annual appointment, if your pooch displays any of the above signs.

Us humans clean our teeth twice a day, so it should be no surprise that it’s recommended we clean our dog’s teeth once a day. But, in case you do skip it now and again, the daily addition of a dental hygiene chew to a regimen of tooth brushingevery other day has been proven to reduce the risk of gingivitis and accumulation of dental deposits (plaque, calculus and stain). There are lots of suitable chews available on the marketin various shapes and sizes – my dog loves getting his teeth into Dentastix or Greenies and they certainly seem to do the trick.


Help your pooch by paying particular attention to their dental care – it will avoid painful problems for them and save you a lot of unnecessary expense. That’s a win win in my book!

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 



FidoActive donates a portion of sales revenue to charitable organizations in the USA for animal rescue and rehoming. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, which goes towards helping these incredibly worthy causes too.

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