Walking down the dental aisle of a large pet store franchise can be overwhelming for many reasons, if not just from the sheer number of choices available. Let’s try and make those decisions a little easier.
Reputable products matter
The first thing you need to look for on any product is the Veterinary Oral Health Care (VOHC) seal of approval – these products have been shown to actually make a difference for your dog’s teeth and breath. That will narrow your search down to something more manageable.
The basics: a good toothbrush
There are many different products out there that do help clean your dog’s teeth, but the best will always be a toothbrush. Dogs should have their teeth brushed a bare minimum of three times a week, but the most optimum schedule would be twice a day.
The toothbrush you use really depends on your dog and whatever you are most comfortable with. For a smaller dog, obviously a smaller brush is going to work better than a bigger one. You can choose angled heads, multiple heads on one brush or even a finger brush. The finger brush slips easily over your index finger and your finger becomes the brush handle.
The right toothpaste
A lot of people ask whether they can use human toothpaste on their dog. Human toothpaste generally carries a number of ingredients that can be toxic to dogs, so the answer to that is no. Dogs need toothpaste designed especially for them. Some toothpastes contain enzymes that assist in the breaking down of plaque and tartar and this is helpful as well. Choosing a toothpaste with a flavor your dog will love will make brushing easier and more exciting for your pet.
Specifically designed dental treats also help with keeping your canine companion’s teeth clean. It’s mostly the harder, scraping portions of the treat formula that do the cleaning work rather than the ingredients themselves. Just make sure when you are choosing the dental treat to double check that it has been approved by the VOHC. That way you’ll know you aren’t feeding anything unhealthy to your pet.
Oral health dog food
There are dental foods designed by reputable companies that clean your pet’s teeth while they are chewing. With the same philosophy as the dental treats, dental food’s abrasive texture helps with the cleaning action. Food and treats that clean teeth shouldn’t contain a lot of starches (like corn), grains or fruits.
There are some VOHC-approved powders on the market that can be added to your pet’s meal, which often contain seaweed that has been shown to help reduce plaque and tartar.
Finishing up the list are water additives. They cut down on the numbers of plaque-forming bacteria in the mouth and also help keep their water dish clean.
Petosan has one of the best designed toothbrushes on the market and they also offer a sonic model which removes more bacteria than a regular toothbrush.
As you can see, there are many options available and, as long as you choose reputable products like Petosan, your dog and his healthy mouth will thank-you.
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