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Before the Holidays get under way, you want every member of the family in tip-top shape before company arrives. Collars flattened, fingernails cut and cleaned, hair combed–and that all goes for your pup, too! No one likes to be greeted by smelly dog breath, no matter how cute a face it’s coming from.

Just like humans, the odor from your dog’s breath signifies their health. While it is believed that the most common health problem in dogs is heartworm, you may be surprised to know it’s actually Periodontal disease, which is caused by a buildup of tartar and plaque on their gums. If proper dental hygiene methods aren’t consistently performed, this disease can be lethal! Periodontitis is also common, which is the deterioration and bone loss around the tooth. So let’s avoid that altogether with a few tips on how to take care of those canine choppers before the company arrives…and for life.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Having your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned typically also involves a full oral examination, and can be extremely informative. If you aren’t comfortable with your dog being sedated for this procedure, we suggest performing and at-home alternative instead.

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

To brush your dog’s teeth at home, you will need a double-headed canine toothbrush, and brush at a 45 degree angle (or as close to that as possible). We recommend tiring out your dog before brushing with a little extra playtime and exercise. This will reduce squirming. If this is the first time you’ve brushed his teeth, go slowly and and stop if your dog starts squirming or gets irritated. Always reward your dog with a treat afterwards. After a few consistent sessions, you should be able to brush for longer without too much resistance.  

Note: If brushing ends in blood, resist the urge to feed your dog soft food. Dry food is better for your dog, as soft food is more likely to stick to their teeth and cause decay.

Treats To Do The Trick

If the thought of brushing your dog’s teeth has you rolling on the floor laughing, we have just the solution for you. There are tons of synthetic bones and chew toys designed to clean and strengthen teeth.

Note: While giving your dog a delicious bone will certainly help remove tartar and plaque, it will not sufficiently clean the teeth, just like relying on mouth rinse won’t do the trick for humans.