February is Pet Dental Health Month.
This serves as a good reminder to check your dog’s teeth and gums regularly and to get them used to having their teeth brushed. Your vet might be running special clinics etc for Pet Dental Health Month so if interested, ask for advice at the surgery.
I can vouch for the effectiveness of regular brushing using a doggie toothpaste. My two have clean teeth and gums and the nine year old has never had a veterinary dental treatment in her life. They had a bit of plaque on their molars but I have nearly got that off using a dental scraper very gently.
My two haven’t had kibble for some years, don’t eat biscuits except for one at bedtime, don’t have bones, chicken pieces or dental chews so I know that their dental state is entirely down to use of the good old fashioned toothbrush and regular care. They have Plaque Off every day on their dinner, I brush using a doggie toothpaste and then apply PetzLife salmon flavour gel to soften any tartar that might be lurking. Any stubborn bits of tartar can then be gently removed with a dental scraper. Down side is that it takes commitment but is well worth the effort when you see a clean, fresh mouth.
If anyone is inspired by Pet Dental Health Month to start cleaning their dog’s teeth there is plenty of advice online. However, I am not sure that quick fix treatments such as dental diets, chews, biscuits etc are of any use. If it was as easy as that there would not be so much peridontal disease in the canine population.
If you do start to brush and your dog has tartar it might take a while to remove so don’t be disheartened if it fails to shift immediately. Be patient. The doggie toothpaste will soften it eventually and sometimes it can then be flicked off with your finger nail. If the tartar is quite heavy then it might need removal by a vet. After a dental treatment is a good time to start regular brushing as it should prevent build up.