Updated: Jan 30
Is your dog constantly trying to eat your couch? Maybe your pup has foul breath that you just can’t get rid of? Or possibly you never even considered dear Champ's teeth? Just like for humans, doggy dental health is incredibly important. Without good teeth, what is your doggo going to monch with? We’ve been looking into the many ailments of doggy dental health and have four great tips to share to help keep your pup chewing happy and healthy into old age.
1) Regularly inspect your canine’s canines
This seems like an easy one, but most dog owners aren’t even aware they should be taking a look inside their pet’s mouth from time-to-time. Knowing what your dog’s teeth look like can help you better spot when something is wrong. This also can tell you when your pup needs a teeth cleaning or to head to the doggy dentist! It might seem gross at first, but we promise your dog will be very happy you care enough to help care for their teeth the same way you care for your own. Most dogs that are full grown can use a cleaning once a year, but if your dog has had dental issues in the past, your veterinarian is the best resource to find out how often your dog needs a teeth cleaning.
Getting comfortable handling the mouth and snout region can also help in a bind when your dog might chew on or choke on something that should be removed. Now, with your newfound confidence, you can go spelunking to find what secrets your dog found while you were out!
What matters most is that your dog’s dental health is on your radar, that you aren’t afraid to get your hands in their chompers, and that your dog understands that you mean them no harm when you are sticking your hands down their throat. This transition might be difficult for highly reactive dogs that are sensitive to touch around their face, so practice what you and your pup are most comfortable with.
2) Clean your dog’s teeth yourself
We mentioned above the need for you to take your dog in for regular teeth cleanings from the vet, but did you know you can also give your dog’s dentures a good cleaning yourself? Just like your own teeth, your dog can have plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to cavities and other dental issues. You can tell from a yellowish buildup where the tooth meets the gums just like on your human teeth.
You can find plenty of companies selling doggy tooth brushes of all kinds from human-like brushes to silicone finger attachments. Like we mentioned above, this might not work well for highly reactive dogs, so use your best judgment and do what works best for your situation. Our resident doggy dental expert has linked below their favorite tools to help keep your pup’s teeth chowing down:
3) Chew on something good
Do you enjoy slow cooker recipes? Then this might be the doggy dental solution for you! Sort of in the vein of brushing your dog’s teeth is the “set it and forget it” of canine dental health: the hard chew. Hard chews (especially natural ones) help fight plaque and tartar buildup while stimulating your dog. Even better, they require little to no effort from the dog owner.
Just make sure your dog enjoys the chew and doesn't choke on it! Both of those precautions involve making sure you have the correct size and type of chew for your dog, but that explanation is for another high quality pet oriented listicle.
The natural dog chew market is highly saturated and we would be lying if we didn’t admit we have stake in the game. QT Dog has pioneered natural, organic, and healthy dog chews for over two decades and we want to share the best of what we have to offer. Linked below you can find a few of our favorites to keep your pup’s teeth in fighting shape.
To see the full collection of our all natural hard chews, click here!
4) Food is not just fuel
Do you think much about what you feed your dog? This is probably the most important variable when considering what might be deteriorating your dog’s dental health. Just like making sure you don’t eat too much sugar because it will rot your human teeth, take a better look at what you are feeding your dog. If your canine’s chompers are looking extra yellow, it might mean you need to change out your dog’s diet (and clean their teeth).
Sugary and starchy foods are proven to cause plaque and tartar buildup so avoiding these in your dog’s kibble, wet food, and treats could make a noticeable difference. If your dog suffers from bad breath, this is also a possible cause of it. The gut bacteria in your dog is alive and well just like the precious microbial gut biome that you foster and cultivate everyday with what food you decide to eat. Your four-legged friend has less options which means what you feed your dog matters.
Some pet owners choose to be more mindful about the ingredients in the dog’s regular food. This means taking a look at the ingredients listed on their wet food and kibble. All you need to do is locate the ingredients on the package and avoid excess sugar and starches. Other pet owners take a much more drastic move: the unprocessed diet. This involves buying produce for your dog the same way you buy it for yourself at the grocery store. This method involves a rather comprehensive understanding of what the dietary needs of your dog are and understanding how to properly prepare the foods you buy for your pet. Just like when you cook for yourself you are more likely to make healthier choices, the same logic applies to your dog.
Whether you choose to no longer feed Champ table scraps or you take the plunge to an unprocessed diet, we will let you and your veterinarian be the judge on how drastic of a change to make. All these suggestions come from our years of working in the industry and being pet parents ourselves. That said, we are not veterinarians, and it is imperative to consult a professional before making any drastic changes to your dog’s health.
About QT Dog
QT Dog is an all natural pet chew and stainless steel feeder manufacturer. With over 25 years of experience in the pet industry, we are dedicated to delivering the highest quality pet products from our sources all over the world to your best friend at home. Based in Dallas, Texas, we hope to bring you and your furry friend the very best for years to come.
To learn more about QT Dog, click here.