Since doggy dentures aren’t a thing, keeping your pup’s teeth clean and gums healthy is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Obviously, the best way to get your dog’s teeth clean is to have the vet scrape them while your dog is under anesthesia. This can be very expensive and there are risks associated with anesthesia, so you want to do everything you can to keep your dog’s teeth clean yourself.
Brushing your dog’s teeth every day with a dog-safe toothpaste is the best way to do that, but some dogs hate it and will run from the sight of a toothbrush. Luckily, there are other options that your dog might actually enjoy. Here are 7 ways to clean your dog’s teeth that they won’t hate.
#1 – Dental spray
If your dog will hold still long enough for you to pick up their lips on either side of their mouth, a dental spray may be a good option. Many dental sprays will help reduce and prevent dental plaque and tartar build-up as well as control the bacteria that causes bad breath, as long as you can manage to spray the product directly onto your dog’s most-affected teeth. As a bonus, sprays often give your dog minty-fresh breath.
#2 – Healthy/natural diet
Dog food companies would like to convince you that dry kibble is better for your dog’s teeth than wet food. Relying on kibble to keep your dog’s teeth clean would be as effective as expecting crackers to keep your teeth clean. Fresher diets with healthier ingredients tend to help improve your dog’s overall health and well-being, and that includes their dental health.
#3 – Chew toys
There are lots of toys on the market designed to encourage your dog to chew. Chew toys with lots of variety in texture can help scrape the plaque off your dog’s teeth as they relax and enjoy their primal instinct to chew. Your dog should always be supervised when playing with chew toys to make sure they don’t swallow any large pieces.
#4 – Raw bones
While cooked bones can splinter and cause all sorts of problems for your dog, raw bones are a fantastic way to help keep your dog’s teeth clean while satisfying their urge to chew. Keep in mind that you’ll want to choose size-appropriate bones. A chicken wing could choke a Great Dane and a cow femur would be a tall order for a Yorkie.
#5 – Tooth wipes
If your dog will tolerate you putting your fingers in their mouth but runs at the sight of a toothbrush, then tooth wipes may be an ideal option. They allow you to remove plaque, tartar, and bad breath bacteria from your dog’s mouth.
#6 – Dog chews
Dogs love to chew. Sometimes you want to give them something that lasts longer than a dental treat but is tastier than a toy and less messy than a raw bone. Dog chews can keep your dog occupied, satisfy their chewing instinct, and help scrape plaque and tartar off of your dog’s teeth. What could be better? Just be sure to supervise your dog – some dogs may swallow large pieces.