Dog Blog

Five Products to Improve Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene

I hate to admit it, but for the first few years of my cats’ and dogs’ lives I wasn’t aware that taking care of their dental health was key too living a long and happy life. Teeth brushing was never a part of their daily routine and I didn’t even know that dental cleanings were recommended by vets on an annual basis.

Once I adopted Bean, I made learning as much about my pets and their health a priority. I started to take dental health seriously. Daily brushing is a must now (seriously those tubes of tooth paste are laying around everywhere).

Unfortunately a lot of pet owners don’t take their pet’s dental health seriously. While dog owners are more likely to brush their pets teeth, about 73% of cat owners don’t.

Still don’t think you should be alarmed? Here are some other facts about pet dental health you may not know.

  • According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will develop some form of oral disease by the age of three.
  • Not addressing your pet’s dental health could lead to more severe secondary diseases like heart or kidney disease.
  • By not brushing your pet’s teeth, formations of bacteria, food particles, and saliva combine and collect between the gums and teeth, which progresses into tartar buildup. Over time this can develop into periodontal disease, which erodes at the gums and can result in bad breath, bleeding gums, and pain.

Kinda scary right? Who knew pet dental health was so important! 

If you aren’t already aware, this month is national pet dental health month. And in honor of that celebration I’ve compiled a list of must have dental health products that will leave your pet with bright sparkling teeth and healthy gums for life.

Water additives.

Image courtesy of Target.

Dental water additives are an easy, no fuss option and a great way for beginners to start taking care of their pet’s dental hygiene. You’ll simply each a cap of liquid every time you change the water.

Dental water additives can help to freshen a pet’s stinky breath by eliminating bacteria that cause build up of plaque and tartar. Because water addictive are non-invase they’re a great option for stubborn dogs and cats.

Dental Gel.

Image courtesy of 49Pet.

Dental gels reduce bacteria that causes plaque and tartar and kills germs responsible for your pet’s bad breath.

Dental gels can be applied with or without the use of a toothbrush, though the toothbrush will help to break down any build up faster.

To use these gels, apply directly to the gum line and on the teeth.

Tropiclean gels are a popular and inexpensive product, but there are plenty of options on the market. My favorite is PetzLife’s peppermint oral gel. Find it on Chewy here.

Dog Safe Toothbrush.

Image courtesy of Chewy.

Human toothbrushes are difficult to use and harsh on pet gums and teeth. Opt for a toothbrush designed specifically for your pets instead. You can choose from a variety of finger brushes or brushes with handles.

My favorite toothbrush is this one by Vet’s Best, which has three bristle heads for easy brushing.

Finally, I know brushing your dog’s teeth can be hard at first. Check out this article from Banfield to learn how to properly brush your dog’s teeth!

Dog safe Toothpaste.

Image courtesy of the AKC.

Human tooth paste is unsafe for dogs because it contains fluoride, which is poisonous to your pet. For this lesson, never ever use human products on your dog.

Instead buy specifically formulated pet pastes. Your local vet may be able to provide you with a product they recommend.

Regardless there are plenty of options for pet owners and even the pickiest of dogs.

We use Virac Enzymatic toothpaste for our dogs. You can check out this article by the AKC to see what other products they recommend.

Dental Treats.

Image courtesy of Chewy

Dental treats are another easy, no fuss way to give your dog’s dental health a little boost. Dental treats work to help clean teeth by scraping away plaque and tartar while your dog chews.

Greenies and Whimzees and popular options and can both be purchased on Chewy. Your local pet or grocery store may also carry them.

Brands such as Purina, Merrick, and Pedigree also make dental treats. No matter what brand you purchase, be sure you are choosing the appropriate size treat for your dog’s or cat’s weight.