No matter how cute your puppy is, their breath can be stinky sometimes. Whether they just chowed down on puppy food or finished up playing in the backyard, bad puppy breath is something you’ll get to experience as a puppy parent.
Persistent bad breath is a sign that your puppy’s dental health needs work. In fact, according to VetHelpDirect, bad breath is typically associated with dental disease in dogs. Your puppy may be suffering from an underlying dental issue, which can cause various health problems like tooth loss and even organ failure.
It’s not enough to brush your puppy’s teeth daily. You need to maintain their pearly whites with a consistent dental care routine.
With most adult dogs suffering from dental disease, keeping up your fur-baby’s oral hygiene is easier said than done. However, having an effective dental care routine is a vital piece to your puppy’s health.
With a healthy mouth, your cute little buddy is able to play, eat, and be themselves without constant pain. You can help keep your puppy’s mouth cleaner with our helpful dental care tips!
1. Visit your vet for professional cleanings.
Your puppy’s dental care starts at your vet’s office. Your vet is the go-to medical professional for anything related to your puppy’s teeth. During your furry friends’ first vet visit, they’ll be evaluated for dental problems and provided treatment, if necessary.
Beyond their first vet visit, your puppy needs to be regularly evaluated for dental plaque, tartar, and other oral issues that can occur as they grow.
We cannot emphasize how vital vet visits are for puppies. About 80 percent of dogs over the age of 3 suffer from painful dental diseases that require invasive treatments. One treatment includes tooth extractions to help prevent the infection from spreading to the brain.
Rather than waiting for your puppy’s teeth to get to this point, you can prevent it with professional dental cleanings. Your vet may look for telltale signs of dental disease like inflamed or bleeding gums, tartar, or plaque.
Because many symptoms of the dental disease occur beneath the gum line, your vet may also recommend x-rays to check for other signs.
If there is dental plaque or other signs of dental disease on your puppy’s teeth, your vet will perform a thorough dental cleaning so your fur-baby has squeaky clean chompers!
2. Brush your puppy’s teeth every day.
Brushing your puppy’s teeth is important to your puppy’s dental care. Follow your vet’s recommendations for daily brushing to promote good oral hygiene in your puppy. Many vets will recommend brushing your furry friend’s teeth every day—2 to 3 times a week is considered the minimum amount.
Only brushing your puppy’s teeth once a week isn’t enough. The type of bacteria that causes dental diseases can settle on a tooth surface between 24 to 36 hours. Brushing your puppy regularly is a lot of work but it’s worth it, especially since it prevents vet costs later on.
To brush your puppy’s teeth, start by choosing a toothbrush designed specifically for dogs. These toothbrushes are able to reach the areas of your puppy’s mouth that a normal human toothbrush can’t.
You can also opt for a finger brush if your furry friend isn’t used to a toothbrush. Always use dog toothpaste over a human one. Human toothpaste can be toxic to puppies when ingested.
Be patient with your puppy. If you’ve never brushed your puppy’s teeth before, they may fidget and squirm the entire time. You can get your puppy used to having their teeth brushed by taking special steps first.
3. Feed your puppy a special dental diet.
Various commercial diets have been proven to promote good dental health in canines compared to the average canine diet. These diets consist of dry food that contain specially formulated ingredients for cleaning your puppy’s teeth.
Make sure you consult with your veterinarian about dental diets. Some dental diets are better suited for adult dogs than puppies. Your vet will let you know whether your puppy is the right fit for diet changes.
4. Offer your puppy chewy dental treats.
Along with special diets, there are also dental treats that help you keep your puppy’s teeth pearly white! Look for items that carry the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal.
This label means that the product meets the maximum standard for cleaning plaque and keeping your puppy’s teeth clean. Treats without this seal do not have the same level of effectiveness as those with it labeled.
Pay close attention to products with this seal to know which to buy. You can also ask your vet for their suggestions of products.
Maintaining a puppy dental care routine requires commitment and patience. Your vet will help you by performing oral exams and dental cleanings. The rest of the job is up to you.
Along with a healthy canine diet, a one-minute brushing routine a day should be enough to keep your puppy’s teeth shiny and squeaky clean!
Just be sure to practice consistency and patience with your puppy. Puppies thrive best when there’s something good coming out of their stressful experience with tooth brushing.
The more positive associations your little buddy has with tooth brushing, the more likely they’ll allow you to clean their teeth without any problems.
If you aren’t sure how to brush your puppy’s teeth, no worries! Take a look at our blog, How To Brush Your Puppy’s Teeth to learn how to properly brush your puppy’s teeth.