Just as plaque can form on human teeth, it can form on canine teeth. If it is not removed, it can lead to serious illnesses. Plaque develops into a hard material called tartar, which leads to gum disease. Bacteria forms in gum pockets and travels through the blood to the major organs -- kidneys, liver and heart. There are a number of ways to remove plaque and prevent plaque, so your favorite companion can stay healthy and give you years of enjoyment.
Brush your dog's teeth at least twice a week and preferably every day. Use a dog toothpaste and dog brush. You can find either finger brushes or brushes with handles. Gently lift the dog's lips on one side and brush the side teeth. Stop for a few seconds and begin again. Lift the lips on the other side and brush the exposed teeth. Take breaks and offer a treat. Continue until you have brushed all the teeth.
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Provide your dog with plenty of items to chew. Edible chews such as rawhide, dental sticks and pig ears are enjoyable for most dogs. Chew toys are another choice. Add some peanut butter to the toy to increase her willingness to chew.
Consider hard kibbles and treats instead of soft or wet food. Talk to your vet about prescription kibbles that are designed for daily dental care.
Use a chlorhexidine oral rinse or gel. This is an anti-plaque antiseptic. Squirt the rinse inside the cheeks. Rub the gel on the teeth. As the dog moves her tongue and lips, it will spread throughout the mouth. It's available in pet stores and at your veterinary clinic.
Ask your vet about professional dental cleaning. This is expensive because your vet uses anesthesia for the cleaning. However, if the plaque is bad, this may be the best way to remove all of it.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.