It's National Pet Dental Health Month but pet parents understand they need to care for their dog's teeth throughout the year, not just during the month of February. When you "celebrate" your dog's healthy mouth you are helping keep him healthy throughout his entire body.
Just as dental health impacts your overall health, the same is true for your beloved pets. Tartar build up causes pain and can lead to infection and even heart problems. If your dog has painful or infected teeth, she won't be able to eat and will lose weight. A dog with a toothache may not act like himself, may not want to play, cuddle or may not be his friendly self.
It's up to the pet parent to assure his or her dog's teeth and mouth are healthy. Here are a few tips to help keep your dog healthy, happy and his smile bright.
Celebrate Your Dog's Healthy Mouth!
- Schedule a dental health check-up. Your veterinarian will check your dog's teeth during an annual visit. Ask your vet whether your dog needs a dental cleaning, what is involved and when he or she recommends it gets done.
- Provide your dog with treats that help remove tartar and keep her teeth cleaner. Chewy, sticky snacks and treats will not benefit your dog or her dental health. Provide snacks designed to "brush" your dog's teeth while she chews.
- Feed your dog healthy food and treats. Just as we need to make healthy food choices -- avoid the cookies and eat the carrots -- so, too do we need to make sure our dogs are getting treats and foods of the highest quality. Look for treats that are organic, low-calorie, made in the USA, that have "superfood" ingredients like chia seeds and contain no sugar, salt, artificial colors, flavor or fillers.
- Brush your dog's teeth. If you have never brushed your dog's teeth and he is an adult, start slow and use a "finger brush." Ask your veterinarian for advice on how to brush your dog's teeth. Only use a toothbrush designed for dog's teeth. Use a dog-only toothpaste -- never use human toothpaste on your dog's teeth. Use tooth-brushing time as a way to bond with your dog. Take it slow, make it enjoyable and work up to brushing his teeth daily.
Our dogs look to us to keep them healthy and during February and beyond, commit to your dog's dental health!
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