Dental Health Tips for Dog Owners

February is Dental Health Month. Did you know that dental problems are some of the most common health issues that veterinarians treat in domesticated dogs? Here, your McHenry, IL vet gives you five great ways to keep your canine companion’s chompers in good shape.

Veterinary Exams

Of course, the best way to keep your dog’s oral health—and overall well-being—in peak condition is by visiting your vet’s office in regular intervals. This way, your veterinarian can gauge your dog’s dental health and offer any recommendations if necessary. Plus, if any issues are found, they can be dealt with before they’re allowed to develop into more serious problems.

If your dog needs a dental checkup, schedule an appointment by calling the office today.

Mouth Checkups at Home

Every week, sit down with your dog and gently pull back the lips. Check out the teeth—they should be clean and free of brownish tartar. Also check for misalignment, cracking, swelling, bleeding, or anything else that looks abnormal. If you see anything you don’t like, let your veterinarian know right away.

Brushing the Teeth

That’s right, you can brush your dog’s teeth in the comfort of your own home! First, you’ll need a canine-formulated toothpaste and toothbrush, available at many pet supply stores and vets’ offices. Start by simply massaging your dog’s gums and teeth with your finger, then slowly introduce a bit of the paste so that your dog can get used to the taste. After a while, try brushing one tooth at a time, very gently.

Over time, you’ll be able to work around to all the teeth in the mouth. Only brush the outer surfaces, as this is where plaque tends to build up. Finish off each tooth with a final downward stroke.

Feed a Quality Diet

Remember that your dog’s diet is very important for all aspects of his health, including dental well-being. Your dog should be eating a premium canine diet that is appropriately suited to his age, breed, and weight. If you’re unsure what food your dog should be fed, call your veterinarian for a professional’s recommendation.

Provide Chew Toys

Chew toys are about more than good old-fashioned fun. They help scrape some loose plaque off of the teeth, removing it before it can harden into tartar. Make sure your dog has plenty of toys.

Ask your McHenry, IL veterinarian for more great canine dental tips.

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