Did you know that brushing your dog’s teeth is part of keeping them healthy?

Routine pet dental care is as important for our four-legged friends as it is for us, AND for largely the same reasons. Without it, tooth decay, chipped or broken teeth, and bad breath are on the menu, not to mention more severe conditions.

Here are four veterinarian-approved pet dental care tips to help your pooch smile brighter, and live healthier.

  • Daily brushing: Just like humans, dogs should have their teeth brushed every day. Popular pet-approved toothpastes like Virbac CET are safe and available in flavors that appeal to most pups.

The trick, of course, is convincing your dog it’s a good idea. But no worries – while they may initially be hesitant if you’ve never attempted it before, it typically only takes a few tries to get your dog on board with brushing. Start by giving them a taste of the toothpaste you’ll be using – since it’s pet-safe, they can lick it all they please, and even ingest it. The way to a dog’s heart is through its stomach, as they say – and this tasty “treat” will usually bring them around.

After your dog is on board with the taste of the paste, gently introduce the brush, giving each tooth’s surface a few passes. As your dog gets increasingly more comfortable with the task, your efficiency will continue to improve.

  • Supplement brushing with dental chews: Chewing plays a significant role in keeping a dog’s teeth clean. The motion and the friction against a dog’s teeth help to remove plaque, tartar, and food particles. Pet-safe dental chews, like Veggident or OraVet, are widely available and a nice addition to your dog’s daily regimen. But steer clear of bones and antlers, which are also readily available at specialty shops and big-box pet stores, as their consistency can easily fracture teeth.
  • Schedule routine check-ups. Regular dental evaluations are also an essential part of pet care. Younger dogs should be seen at least once a year by a veterinary dental expert, and more frequently as your pet ages. Older dogs (and smaller dogs) tend to have more plaque buildup as they get older.
  • Keep an eye out for warning signs: By following these tips, your dog should enjoy a healthy smile (and better breath) for years to come. But always be on the lookout for signs that something may be amiss in your pet’s mouth. These include:
    • Dropping food or toys
    • A decreased appetite
    • Pawing at the mouth

Dental disease that progresses far enough can result in the need for extractions and could even damage a dog’s heart, liver, kidneys, and more.

As a veterinarian-owned and operated pet resort, Green Acres understands how important it is to maintain proper pet dental care.  We love seeing the bright smiles of our tail-wagging guests. and our custom activity packages and programs offer plenty of fun and excitement that will help show off your pup’s pearly whites.