Ten Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth in Top Shape

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1: Visit a veterinarian at least once a year.
The veterinarian will examine a pet’s teeth and gums.  Recommendations may be made for cleaning, polishing and other dental care in the hospital and a program of home dental care.

2: Check your dog’s teeth regularly.
Check their teeth and gums regularly. Red, swollen or bleeding gums require attention, as do loose teeth.

3: Keep tartar away.
Dental chews help remove tartar and plaque and keep dogs’ teeth healthy and strong. The gnawing motion from these chews helps to remove “gunk” from the teeth.

4: Brush, Brush, Brush!
Use a special dog toothbrush and toothpaste a few times a week for maximum benefit. If you have a smaller dog, make sure to use a smaller brush that will comfortably fit into the dog’s mouth without causing any harm. Most pet stores carrying different sizes of brushes. Your dog probably won’t like having something stuck in their mouth at first, but be patient and brush slowly.

5: Have a dental cleaning done
While at-home dental care is extremely important, having teeth cleaned on a regular basis by a veterinarian is also key. Your vet will let you know when it’s time for a cleaning.

6: Stay away from the soft stuff.
If possible, try to avoid giving your dog large amount of soft dog food. This can lead to an excess of buildup on the teeth. When using soft food, regular brushing is especially important.

7: Keep an eye out for trouble.
If your dog seems to be having trouble chewing food, or is eating less, these may be signs of problems with your dog’s teeth. Check with a vet if these problems persist.

8: Bad breath is bad!
Bad breath in adult dogs isn’t normal and usually indicates a problem with your pet’s dental health.

9: Deal with dental problems right away!
As with humans, the longer you wait to take care of dental problems, the more money it’s going to cost to fix these issues. If your dog is having dental problems, see your vet immediately! Dental problems will not go away on their own and can lead to a shorter lifespan for your dog.

10: Spread the word.
Make sure all of your dog-owning, dog-crazy friends know about the importance of good doggie dental health!

Source: California Veterinary Medical Association & www.muttropolis.com

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