Dental hygiene is an essential part of a dog’s health. Gum disease is common in dogs and it can be prevented with regular teeth cleaning. In addition to cleaning your dog’s teeth, feeding dry dog food, rawhide bones, and dental sticks, can aid in the prevention of gum disease.
Brushing your dog’s teeth can be a challenge for both of you. Most dogs do not like having their mouth touched and they will not let you introduce a toothbrush in there! To prevent this issue it is important to start brushing your dog’s mouth when he/she is a puppy so he/she gets used to the process. But what if you have an adult dog that won’t let you brush his/her teeth?
Although brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way of preventing gradual build-up of plaque and tartar, there are some alternative methods to clean your dog’s mouth. The Holistic Vet, Dr. Ihor Bask, recommends mixing 2 oz. of hydrogen peroxide, 2 oz. of Aloe Vera juice, 1 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid chlorophyll to create an effective dog’s toothpaste at home. Dr. Basko recommends rubbing this paste to the teeth and gums using a gauze sponge or a Q-tip (for small dogs) 2 to 3 times per week. You can also use a commercial dog’s toothpaste and apply it with a gauze sponge as an alternative to tooth brushing.
These alternative methods will prevent excessive plaque and tartar build-up; however, your dog should receive proper dental care by a veterinarian twice a year. If your dog presents signs of periodontal disease such as bad breath and pain in the mouth you should take him/her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Basko, I. (2011). 6 Ways To Keep Those Pearly Whites White (& 3 Ways To Do It Right!). Retrieved on January 23 from: http://www.drbasko.com/site/six-ways-dental-clean
About the author
Dr. Stephanie Flansburg-Cruz practices mixed animal veterinary medicine and she has a special interest in shelter medicine and animal welfare. Stephanie enjoys volunteering at local animal shelters, reading, writing and traveling.