Dogs’ teeth get plaque and tartar just like ours do, however, unlike us they aren’t concerned about it. That’s where you come in as a responsible pet owner.
Dog breath and discolored teeth are often a result of dental health neglect. Besides those more cosmetic concerns, if we do not try to keep our dogs’ tooth tartar build-up at a minimum our poor pups could develop painful, deadly periodontal disease. Regular teeth cleanings are recommended to wipe out plaque and tartar, and avoid periodontal disease. However, in the case of senior dogs putting a pup under could be more dangerous than it’s worth.
Keeping your pup’s teeth clean is essential but can be difficult for many reasons. For one, they don’t seem to like it when we “tickle their teeth.” They typically would prefer that you keep any and all non-food items out of their mouth including toothbrushes, fingers, etc. (brushing is essential though, don’t get us wrong). Making matters more complicated is trying to avoid the amount of unnatural products out there. If you’re looking for natural ways to clean your dog’s teeth consider the following options:
1. Give Them a Toy
Dog chew toys are great for getting your pup to self-clean his teeth. They are designed with grooves and nubs that create interest and a massaging feeling when gnawed on. If you watch your dog with a chew toy in his mouth you’ll see how much he enjoys the feeling!
The massaging action scrubs food bits and the gooey, filmy plaque off your pup’s teeth and stimulates beneficial blood flow to his gums.
An all natural rubber chew toy designed to clean your dog’s teeth is the best way to go. Our natural rubber Brite Bite Brushing Stick (seen above), brushing bone, brushing ball come in different sizes and are infused with dog-safe peppermint scent to freshen your pup’s breath.
2. Give Them Better Treats
Training your dog with treats is a great way to get him to learn new tricks. However, most training treats are carb- and sugar-laden bombs. They’re not good for your furry family member’s dental health or their health in general for that matter!
Instead, try dog friendly fruits and vegetables that actually help keep your pup’s teeth clean, such as carrots, apple slices (seeds removed), squash and pumpkin. These foods leave next to no residue behind and their texture can actually scrub off other food residue from your dog’s pearly whites.
Another good treat great for training that can help buff off food grime and plaque slime is freeze dried meat treats. The Project Paws™ freeze dried chicken treats and freeze dried beef liver treats are 100% real meat morsels that your dog will LOVE and couldn’t be a more natural or healthy reward for your pup.
3. Treat Them With Meat (Chews)
Looking to give your dog a snack? The veggies, fruit and meat treats mentioned above are great and in addition your dog will benefit from their teeth cleaning power. For an edible chew and entertaining snack that helps keep your pup’s teeth clean while providing nutrition, try a dried meat chew.
A few examples are dried pig or beef ears, snouts, or other parts and bully sticks. Bully sticks are the preferred choice to troublesome rawhide, which, besides being a choking hazard, are not good for your pup’s teeth nor their digestive tract.
4. Throw Them a Bone
Raw bones are generally accepted as a great, all natural teeth cleaning method. The theory is that while the dog is chewing, the bone gently scrapes the enamel, buffing off plaque and loosening tartar. In addition to this teeth cleaning power, the bone provides nourishment for your pup’s body! Look for soup bones or knuckle bones from the butcher and offer your dog an size-appropriate portion 2-3 times a week.
5. Feed Them Good Food
Kibble has become the go-to diet for our pups but it is definitely not the most natural. The stuff is rich in carbohydrates used as more of a filler than for nutrition. These carbs feed the colonies of bacteria that live in our pups’ mouths, creating plaque build up. A fresh diet of quality meat and certain vegetables results in much less plaque and tartar buildup compared with that of a diet high in carbohydrates.
Many pet parents who switch their furry family members to a raw diet report seeing a great improvement in their dog’ dental health, in addition to other beneficial health changes. If you’re curious about raw feeing, check out Pet Fooled, the documentary discussing the pet food industry’s blunders and the benefits of a raw diet.
If You Do Nothing Else…
In addition to these tips, we highly recommend that you consider brushing your dog’s teeth daily. Our dual size dog toothbrush and rubber finger cap dog toothbrush are great options for dogs of all sizes.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.
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