Keeping Those Gnashers Clean
We all know oral hygiene is an important part of our health, but the same goes for our dogs!
A common thing we hear from adopters is that their dog has arrived with their teeth in poor condition. Of course, nobody is surprised. These dogs have had rubbish diets and no care up until now and the plaque and tartar has been left to build up, sometimes for years on end.
So how do you go about getting those pearly whites back?
The best way to keep on top of your dog’s oral hygiene is arguably brushing their teeth, just like us. You can buy a special toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs to do this. However, this does take training and trust so it may take time before you are able to brush your rescue dog’s teeth. Read more about introducing your dog to brushing their teeth here.
Natural supplements such as Plaque Off can be added to your dogs food. This can really help when your dog first arrives to help remove the build up of plaque and tartar already on their teeth. It’s also less invasive than a toothbrush in the early weeks of adjusting to their new life.
These supplements are often made from natural occurring substances such as specially selected algae. This works systemically, through the blood stream, to loosen hard tartar and is also thought to affect the ability of plaque to stick to the teeth.
The supplements have little to no taste, so even the fussiest dogs aren’t put off their food. It is however worth nothing that, while it works for most dogs, there are some it doesn’t have an effect on and they can also stop working over time.
In time, this is perfect to use in conjunction with brushing your dogs teeth.
If you have chosen to feed a raw diet, then raw bones are also a great way of keeping teeth clean, just like your dog would do in the wild. As your dog chews and chomps, they get the perfect brush and floss which polishes and scrapes away tartar as they go.
It’s important to note that you should not feed your dog any weight-bearing bones. Bones should not be cooked and should be part of a balanced diet
There are many dental chews on the market which claim to remove plaque. Whilst this is arguably one of the easiest way to address your dogs oral hygiene, some are more effective while others can actually be dangerous to your dog.
Be very careful when choosing such chews, have a read of the ingredients and make sure there isn’t anything you wouldn’t want to eat yourself. You can read more about what to avoid here.
The Dreaded Vets
If your dogs teeth are in very poor condition, your vet may suggest a scale or polish, or even having some teeth removed. If your dog is eating well and not in pain, it is worth considering the above options first before going down this route. Anaesthetic comes with its own risks and the experience may overwhelm a new rescue dog.