We love our furry friends. But we don’t love the fishy, stinky odor that emits from their yawning mouths. Sometimes the stink is just too much to bear and you may wonder what in the world is causing such a horrendous smell? Is it the dog kibble? The leftover tuna casserole you gave to Rover last night? Or maybe it’s just the fact that you haven’t cleaned his teeth in a very long time…or ever. Just as the build up of plaque and tartar can cause all means of havoc on our teeth and breath, so too for man’s best friend and your pooch. Keep reading on how to remove tartar from dog’s teeth.
When to Start Checking Your Dog’s Teeth
Generally among dog breeds, puppies begin to lose their baby teeth around 4 months of age, give or take a few months. Your puppy is an individual so it could happen sooner or a littler later. Start checking your dog’s teeth regularly and make teeth cleaning a daily routine as early as possible. It’s never too early to start preventing plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Puppies goes through a teething phase that lasts about 7 months. This is a great time to introduce a daily ritual of getting your dog acquainted with a toothbrush and doggy paste!
Dental Problem Symptoms in Dogs
You know when your pup is happy when he wags his tail, excited when he jumps, scared when his tail is tucked between his legs and so on. You can also tell if your dog is having some dental issues by his change in behavior. Here are some symptoms of dental problems your pooch may be having:
- Change in Eating Habits: Dogs love to eat! But if yours starts to eat slowly, drop food, or avoid it all together, they may be experiencing tooth pain.
- A lot of Drool: Drooling can mean that your dog is in pain.
- Lethargy: Your normally active dog is reluctant to play fetch much less move off the couch. He could be experiencing dental pain especially if he’s pawing at the mouth.
- Bad Breath: Should not be common. Periodontitis and gingivitis are the leading causes of your dog’s nasty breath which is caused by dental problems.
- Redness: Check your dogs gums; if they’re red and inflamed, periodontal disease is the culprit.
- Swelling: Root abscesses can be linked to swelling on your dog’s face below his eyes as well as his gums.
How to Prevent Tartar and Plaque Buildups
The best way to prevent tartar and plaque buildup in your dogs teeth is to start early! Even if you’re a bit behind on the dental maintenance of your dog, it’s never too late to start, so here’s some tips on how to remove tartar from dogs teeth and prevent plaque buildup.
When choosing the best dog chew for your pooch to help with his teeth, opt for a high quality one that’s easy to digest. Your dog will most likely love the flavor of his chew and think it’s more of a treat than a dental aid.
Check out these dental dog treats:
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Especially those with rubber nibs will help massage your dog’s gums and gently remove plaque off the teeth. Other toys that are great for naturally removing plaque while keeping your pup entertained are rope toys and rawhide chips. For aggressive chewers, make sure to purchase toys they can’t get their mouths around so the toy won’t break or crack and cause damage to the mouth. Rawhides that soften as the dog chews are effective as well. Make sure to clean plastic/rubber toys regularly to control the build-up of bacteria.
Special chew toys such as these really help:
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Check with your vet to see what is the best kind of kibble for your dog that can aid in tartar and plaque control. Vet recommended kibble aimed at tartar and plaque control incorporates certain fibers that scrape away tartar. Some kibble uses vitamins and minerals that binds calcium in the saliva so that tartar won’t turn into plaque. Soft dog food is not as effective in removing plaque build-up so best to feed mainly kibble with a little canned food on occasion.
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How to Remove Tartar From Dog’s Teeth
Tartar Removal Products
You can easily purchase tartar-control products in liquid form to put into your dog’s water dish. The ingredient chlorhexidine has been proven to effectively lower the amount of bacteria in dogs’ mouths. If you can’t easily brush your dog’s teeth, a tartar-control product is a must to prevent build-ups.
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Brush, brush, brush!
This can be a tricky one to accomplish with your dog, but try to get him used to the feeling of a toothbrush and the taste of doggy toothpaste early on. Just as we need to brush every day, the same should be true for your dog. Brushing is the most effective way in how to remove tartar from dogs teeth. For puppies with those sharp little baby teeth, you can purchase a rubber brush that fits on your finger. Try watching some videos on how to best brush your dog’s teeth and how to remove tartar from dog’s teeth and most of all be patient and persevere!
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If your dog’s teeth and gums show that he could possibly have periodontal disease, it’s best to get his teeth professionally cleaned. This is a great opportunity for your vet to perform a thorough oral examination as your dog will have to be sedated and anesthetized. Plaque and tartar can be removed through water pressure that is able to clean the visible tooth surface as well as under the gums.
Tips From the Vets
Let’s Wrap Up
Only around 2% of dog owners take preventative measures when it comes to their dog’s dental care. The truth is, many don’t even think that dental hygiene in dogs is necessary. We’re so used to dogs as being our portable vacuum cleaners and dinner scraps removers with steel stomachs to digest everything and teeth to withstand all the junk they end up consuming. Although some breeds are more prone to dental disease than others, dog owners need to realize the importance of proper dental care.
So why the fuss now? Because gingivitis and periodontal disease are serious matters for our furry friends and cause extreme discomfort and pain for our pets. To prevent this from happening to your dog, you can start now – it’s never too late to begin implementing healthier options and habits. These habits over time will become second nature and your dog will thank you for it by his wagging tail and non-stinky dog breath!