Poor dental hygiene in dogs can be the lead cause of many disorders. These range from bad dog breath to kidney diseases, liver problems, and oral tumors. Here are some tips you can follow to improve your dog’s periodontal health.
1. Change your dog's diet
If a visit to the dog-dentist or a vet has proven that the reason behind your dog’s bad breath, lethargy, eating problems, and more is poor diet—it’s time to take a look at your furry friend’s food. Usually, a dog’s dental hygiene depends on a lot of what they eat.
Feeding your dog fresh and raw veggies like carrots and cucumbers a great way to provide nutrition and clean their teeth. The same applies to chewy muscle meats, which make the dog’s teeth strong and sturdy while cleaning the gums. Raw bones that your dog can chew on for hours also help maintain their dental hygiene.
Kibble and commercial dog foods are convenient but aren’t the most nutritive nor are they helpful in maintaining dental hygiene. In fact, some studies have shown that commercial dry foods may even have adverse effects on the teeth and the gum health of dogs. Try keeping your dogs on a diet of fresh, raw, and nutritious foods with the occasional kibble snack for when you’re running late.
Another great point about switching to a natural homemade diet for your dog is that these foods tend to ooze out a group of live enzymes and good bacteria that help keep dogs healthy and happy.
2. Schedule a dental cleaning
When was the last time you took your precious pooch to get their teeth and gums cleaned? A number of diseases start off in the mouth and then travel to the gut, so it’s very important that you maintain the dental wellbeing of your dog. The plaque and tartar encourage bacteria in the mouth, which leads to tooth loss, gingivitis, and progressive periodontal deterioration. This can cause severe damage to internal organs in the dog’s later life.
Dental cleaning sessions for dogs tend to be uncomfortable, expensive and painful. They’re usually performed under general anesthesia. A dental cleaning session is a preventative treatment and it includes a thorough checkup and cleaning of the gums, cavities, and complete teeth care. Plaque and tartar are scraped off the teeth of dogs, either in a single session or over multiple appointments, depending on how thick the buildup is.
3. Regular dog tooth brushing
Apart from periodical dental cleaning appointments, regular teeth brushing is very important. Just like humans, dogs need a thorough tooth brushing too.
The only difference is that we need to brush our teeth twice a day, while dogs can make do with having their teeth brushed thrice a week or so. This decreases the plaque buildup in the mouth and lessens the need to have frequent professional dental cleanups done.
You can use a normal toothbrush, or a child’s one to clean your pet’s teeth. Some quality dog toothpaste brands are available in the market. You can also make your own at home using a blend of coconut oil, turmeric, and parsley. You can also use a mix of cinnamon and coconut oil to ensure fresh breath and strong teeth for your dog.
Probiotic foods like yogurt, cheese, and buttermilk introduce lots of good bacteria into your dog’s digestive system. This helps improve the dog’s gut health and prevents gastrointestinal diseases.
Probiotic supplements eliminate bacteria from the roots of the teeth and help maintain good gum health as well. Just like in the gut, these probiotics also balance healthy bacteria in the mouth.
5. Ozonated Water
Ozonated water is water mixed with ozone gas. While in itself, the gas is harmful but when combined with water, it transforms into a wonderful substance for dogs and people. A study mentioned that “our results have shown that ozonated water exerts critical anti-inflammatory effects.” Additionally, “ozonated water is useful as a therapeutic option for acute inflammation”.
Buy an ozonator and generate your own ozone water for your dog. This will help to flush out toxins from your dog’s mouth and get rid of any harmful bacteria that could make it down to your dog’s gut.
6. Ozonated Oil
Just like the ozonated water, ozonated oil is fortified by mixing olive oil with ozone gas to create an antibacterial wonder. This can help prevent cancer in humans and animals alike.
Olive oil is considered as a good carrier for ozone gas, but you can try other oils too and see which one suits your dog best. Ozonated olive oil can be massaged onto a dog’s gums to treat gingivitis.
7. Bone broth and eggshells
A concoction of crushed eggshells, coconut oil, baking soda, and a few drops of peppermint oil make an excellent homemade toothpaste for dogs. Eggshells have remineralizing qualities that help repair cavities and tooth damage.
Bone broth, on the other hand, has revitalizing qualities and can be used to provide the dog with the required minerals and vitamins. Both of these are excellent for better dental care and keeping the entire mouth clean.
8. Dental dog treats
The market is flooded with a variety of imported and local dog food brands that manufacture dog treats with dental benefits. Only trust brands that have suffered no recalls in the past.
These come in the shape of chew sticks, bones, biscuits, and more. They’re flavored with meats or fruits so that your doggy doesn’t shy away from eating them. In fact, these are fun foods for them.
Their efficiency at bettering a dog’s health is questionable. The main appeal is the chewing movement and may rid the dog’s teeth of plaque and tartar. Most treats are filled with carbohydrates which are notoriously bad for tooth decay – so ideally, pick a single-ingredient carb-free dental treat!
9. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is an excellent antiviral and antibacterial ingredient. A little bit of extra virgin olive oil can be massaged onto the dog’s gums to make them stronger and bacteria-free.
Simply put a teaspoon’s worth of coconut oil on your fingers (wear rubber gloves) and slowly massage it onto your dog’s gums.
10. Feed Less Carbohydrates
Carb-rich kibble or commercial dog food made with grains can add to the plaque buildup on your dog’s teeth. Not only that, these foods are the first to get stuck in the dog’s teeth, where they stay and rot until manually removed through brushing or dental cleanups. Always fa or grain-free kibble when possible.
Dogs have very little use for carbohydrates in their diet. All carbs do is keep dogs fuller for longer and assist with healthy bowel movements. Sometimes, simple carbs can also disturb their gut, causing their mouth to stink and their teeth to rot. When feeding carbs, ensure that you give them homemade meals, which are soft and easily digestible.
Take a quick look at the ketogenic dog diet if you are interested in lowering the overall carb content of your dog’s diet.
11. Dental toys for dogs
Just like dog treats, there are also toys that are made of chewy, safe material. These are to dogs, what teethers are to babies. They give dogs something to do while improving their dental health by scraping the surface of most teeth.
They help clean the mouth of the dogs, massage their gums, exercise their teeth, and even leave their breath smelling odorless.
12. Dog dental wipes
Dog dental wipes are great to manage your dog’s dental health while on the move. Ideal for traveling and convenient to carry around, they are also excellent choices for dogs that hate to the toothbrushing sessions.
The texture of these soft wipes is such that it gives a thorough cleaning to the mouth of the dogs, removing the plaque and tartar buildup, without hurting them.
Dog dental wipes come in tasty flavors, so your dog stays put while you give them a nice wipe down. Just be very cautious when wiping the teeth of adult dogs and make sure they don’t swallow the wipe.