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When it comes to dog teeth cleaning, there are lots of different products on the market that claim to do a brilliant job.
And if your dog has bad breath, plaque build-up, or is in pain, it’s likely you’ll want to get hold of something that will help end this problem as soon as possible!
But which products really work? We tried a number of different brands and will share our findings with you in this post. You can read all about them below, and we’ve also included a section at the start with some additional tips about dog teeth cleaning.
Do dog teeth really need to be cleaned?
Yes, your dog’s teeth really need to be cleaned. Dogs develop plaque on their teeth just like we do, and this can lead to gum disease, bad breath, painful teeth and even tooth loss.
It is important that you help keep your dog’s teeth in good condition, otherwise they could become unhealthy or need surgery at some point in their lives.
So how can I clean my dogs teeth?
There are loads of different products on the market which promise to help you clean your dog’s teeth. They range from special toothbrushes, to chews and even sprays.
However, the best way to keep your dogs teeth healthy is still to brush them at home with a suitable pet toothpaste every day!
Where to get a dog toothbrush?
I actually got my first dog toothbrush for free from our vet. So, I suppose you have nothing to lose by asking yours if they have any during your next appointment.
If you can’t get a dog toothbrush from your vet, you can find them in most pet retail shops or buy one online.
We found that our dog is happy to tolerate the TropiClean toothpaste, whereas he would literally run away and hide from the Peanut Butter flavoured dog toothpaste from another brand.
Because each dog is unique, so is his or her taste preference. If your dog has a negative reaction to one brand or flavour, you could have greater success with another.
What if your dog really hates the toothbrush?
If you can’t get your dog to accept a toothbrush for whatever reason, dental wipes might be a good alternative for you.
They contain similar ingredients as toothpaste and you wipe your dog’s teeth with them to help reduce plaque and tartar.
What other products can help with keeping dog teeth clean?
The Veterinary Oral Health Council exists to recognise products that meet pre-set standards of plaque and tartar retardation in dogs and cats. They award products with a Seal of Acceptance after reviewing data from trials.
You can review the full list of products here: http://www.vohc.org/VOHCAcceptedProductsTable_Dogs.pdf
It includes dental diets, chews, and oral gel, spray, toothpaste and powders that can be added to food.
What about bones, deer antlers, goat horns, and teeth cleaning toys?
It’s always best to discuss this topic with your vet as all dogs are unique.
In our experience, our vet did not recommend feeding our dog bones for teeth cleaning purposes, as they often experience dogs coming into their practice due to health issues from bones, so they said it’s not worth the risk. They advised the same for antlers, horns, and teeth cleaning toys of suspicious origin.
We appreciate that other vets may advise differently, which is why it’s best for you to have a personalised consult with yours.
Depending on the state of your dogs teeth, your vet might also advise to book your dog in to have its teeth cleaned professionally.
How often and how do I brush my dog’s teeth?
The Veterinary Oral Health Council recommends brushing your dog’s teeth daily with 10 sets of four strokes (=40 strokes per mouth).
You can find a detailed description of the brushing technique they recommend here: http://www.vohc.org/VOHC-Dog-Brushing-Technique2016.pdf
It is recommended that growing puppies start getting used to having their teeth brushed from an early age, otherwise it can become more difficult later on.
In our experience, cleaning our dog’s teeth once a day has been ideal to keep his teeth in good condition so far. This new habit takes some commitment, but with enough time, it becomes a natural part of daily life.
Veterinary dental professionals recommend checking your dog’s teeth regularly for problems and having it done once or twice per year by the vet.