Home Dental Care for Dogs

One of the first questions we get at Aspen Grove is about the plaque on dog teeth and how to get it off. Most dogs are pretty amenable to brushing their teeth. It really comes down to finding the time and effort to train them to get used to the idea of it. When it comes to toothpaste, it is important to use one that is dog-appropriate. Flouride typically makes most dogs pretty sensitive, so you will want to avoid that when choosing a toothpaste for your dog. Most are chicken or beef flavored which they love as it acts as a treat.
You will want to brush on all sides of their teeth in an up-and-down motion to flake off those plaque colonies. This allows the plaque to not stabilize and become tarter. If left, it can usually lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease down the road.
For dogs that aren’t amenable for physical teeth brushing, dental treats are also a great option. There are dental-specific treats that allow dogs to brush their own teeth. If you are able to get your dog to hold on to the treat and chew on it with both sides of their mouth for 3-5 minutes, that suffices! They will get some of that same physical action that’s in hand brushing.
Another question that a lot of people ask is “how do I know my dog needs professional cleaning” or “when do I need to go to the vet to get that plaque scaled off?” Your dog’s gums should be a light pink color. If there are accumulations of hard brown colonies, unhealthy looking gums or bleeding, contact us directly and make an appointment. Those are signs of gingivitis and maybe the beginning signs of periodontal disease at that point. If you keep an eye on those things then you will know when it’s time to bring your dog in for a dental check.

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