In our previous blog, we outlined the very basics of cleaning your pet’s teeth in a broader summary of the importance of oral healthcare for animals in general; today, we’ll take a bit deeper of a look at some of the products available to help you with this.
Sifting Through Dog Teeth Product Claims
First and foremost, if you’re ever in doubt, just ask the staff or doctor at your local animal hospital. These are the best resources you have in finding products that are safe and effective at maintaining your dog’s oral health, not whatever you read online, hear from a friend, or heard from a pet supply store employee. That said, those resources all serve as a great start in knowing what to ask your vet.
Controversial, risky, or effective – take your pick. The finger brush is a commonly-sold puppy product that allows the dog owner to put a rubber, thimble-like brush on their finger and scrub their dog’s teeth. The benefits of a finger brush are mostly found in the control it gives you to literally feel what is going on in your dog’s mouth, ensuring that you get all the nooks and crannies. Of course, the obvious downside lies in the fact that many dogs – even puppies – don’t want anyone’s finger wiggling around in their mouth and even committed pet owners will be inclined to agree with them after a nip or two.
Be a little cautious of edible and inedible dental bones alike; many dogs are able to eat the rubbery, inedible dental bones sold at most pet stores, which can be toxic, and the type that are designed to be eaten are more of a treat than a brushing alternative. If someone tried to sell you a cheeseburger that replaced brushing your teeth, wouldn’t you be the least bit skeptical? Yet, somehow, we expect dental bones to replace toothbrushing for our furry friends? While they don’t necessarily hurt, and chewing is actually good for your dog’s teeth, you shouldn’t see bones as brush substitutes.
There are a few products that claim to be the trick you’re looking for to get out of brushing your dog’s teeth. While many of these products may enjoy a varying degree of success in removing the plaque from their chompers, almost none will clean the dangerous buildup that can accumulate along and inside the gum line, which is what you should really be worried about. Additionally, many of these products contain a number of potentially harmful additives that can cause other health concerns down the road; always consult your vet before using any bold dog product.
Call Your Dentist
Note how we did not recommend fluoridated toothpaste for humans? That is because fluoride is much more toxic to dogs than it is to us, making it incredibly dangerous for them! Just remember, before you put anything you aren’t sure about in your dog’s mouth, always call your vet or the staff at your local animal hospital to know and understand any risks you may be subjecting your pup to!
Since February is dental awareness month, it is the perfect time to get your pup in for a professional dental cleaning and screening at our Salida animal hospital.
Learn more and schedule your appointment with our friendly staff today!