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Dental Care for Dogs, the good the bad and the stinky

Updated: Jun 2

When it comes to our furry friends, we often focus on their diet, exercise, and general health, but dental care is an area that can sometimes be overlooked. Just like humans, dogs need regular dental care to prevent issues such as gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. Neglecting your dog's dental health can lead to serious problems, including infections that can affect their heart, liver, and kidneys. Here’s a comprehensive guide to keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy.

Why Dental Care is Important for Dogs

1. Prevents Tooth Loss: Regular dental care helps maintain strong and healthy teeth, preventing the loss of teeth due to decay or damage.

2. Avoids Bad Breath: Halitosis in dogs is often a sign of underlying dental issues. Regular cleaning helps keep your dog's breath fresh.

3. Reduces Risk of Serious Diseases: Dental diseases can lead to more serious health problems. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream, affecting vital organs.

4. Enhances Overall Well-being: Dogs with healthy teeth are usually more comfortable and happier, able to eat and play without pain.

Signs of Dental Problems in Dogs

- Bad breath

- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums

- Yellow or brown tartar buildup on teeth

- Difficulty eating or chewing

- Pawing at the mouth or face

- Excessive drooling

Daily Dental Care Tips

1. Brushing: Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily. Use a dog-specific toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be harmful to dogs.

2. Dental Chews: These are specially designed to help clean your dog’s teeth and gums. They come in various sizes and flavors, making it easier to find one your dog enjoys.

3. Chew Toys: Provide your dog with chew toys that promote dental health. These toys can help scrape away plaque and tartar.

4. Healthy Diet: Feeding your dog a diet that includes dry kibble can help reduce plaque buildup. Some diets are specifically formulated to improve dental health.

Regular Professional Cleanings

Despite your best efforts at home, your dog will benefit from professional dental cleanings. Veterinarians can perform thorough cleanings and check for any issues that are not visible to the naked eye. It's recommended to have a professional cleaning at least once a year

Home Remedies for Dental Health

1. Coconut Oil: Some dog owners use coconut oil to help reduce plaque. You can add a small amount to their food or use it to brush their teeth.

2. Apple Slices: Apple slices can act as a natural toothbrush, helping to clean your dog's teeth and freshen their breath.

3. Parsley: Adding a small amount of parsley to your dog’s food can help freshen their breath naturally.

Products to Consider

- Dog Toothpaste and Brushes: Brands like Virbac and Arm & Hammer offer dog-specific toothpaste and brushes.

- Dental Chews and Treats: Look for chews approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).

- Water Additives: These can be added to your dog’s water bowl to help reduce plaque and freshen breath.


Dental care is an essential part of your dog’s overall health. By implementing daily care routines and scheduling regular veterinary check-ups, you can ensure your furry friend enjoys a healthy mouth and a happy life. Remember, a healthy smile means a healthier, happier dog.

Take action today—brush up on your dog’s dental care routine and watch the tail wags of appreciation!


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