Brushing your dog's teeth is just as important as brushing your own. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80 percent of dogs need professional oral care by age three.
Why brushing is important
Dogs start out with 28 puppy teeth. By six months of age, their baby teeth fall out and are replaced by 42 permanent teeth. Daily dental care protects those teeth and gums. Daily brushing removes plaque, which affects more than just your dog's teeth and gums; infected teeth and gums can lead to heart, kidney, intestinal tract and joint problems.
The good news is that all of these ailments are preventable with proper dental care:
Start early. Get your puppy used to having her teeth brushed by massaging her teeth and gums with your fingers. Use dental wipes or wrap a piece of gauze around your finger to gently rub her teeth and massage her gums.
Gradually add dog toothpaste or a dental gel. Use a toothpaste or dental gel designed specifically for dogs. Pet toothpastes come in a variety of meaty flavors, which dogs like, and are much less abrasive than human toothpaste. The enamel on a dog or cat's teeth is much softer than a human's, and will be damaged by human toothpaste or toothbrushes. Also, human toothpaste is designed to be spit out. Doggy toothpaste can be swallowed without any harmful effects.
Use a pet toothbrush. Once your dog gets used to you putting your finger in their mouth, you can graduate to a doggy toothbrush. Pet toothbrushes are designed specifically for your dog, with soft bristles and a special angle that enables you to more easily get to the back of your dog's mouth. Do not use a human toothbrush. The bristles of our toothbrushes are too harsh for your dog's mouth.
Supplement with Veterinary Oral Health Council-approved dental treats and dental chews. Use them just like you do with other treats–as a reward for good behavior. Follow the feeding instructions on the package, but never use treats to replace good nutrition.
Chew toys for the win. Chew toys can help reduce plaque in your dog's mouth. According to the Veterinary Oral Health Council, the mechanical action of chewing can help reduce plaque by up to 70 percent. Chew toys also are ideal for dogs who quickly chew through edible treats.
Finish with a rinse. You also can supplement regular brushing with Veterinary Oral Health Council-approved doggy dental rinses. Added to your dog's water bowl, these dental rinses can help cut down on tartar buildup and bad breath.
Be sure to take your pet to his regularly scheduled annual veterinary check-up for a complete assessment of your dog's dental health.
Here are the primary changes:
As our business has expanded, our family of online stores has become more active. We have expanded the disclosure regarding the types of information that you may provide when making purchases through our site or one of our affiliated sites.
You may have noticed that we have expanded our business to offer you a wider variety of services for your pet and different ways to interact with our sites. We have clarified that information about you may be collected from interactive forums, social networks, and other functionalities on our sites; and that your location information may be collected.
We have clarified how we and our affiliated companies may use information collected through our site.
We have added disclosures about do-not-track technologies and the collection of information through our sites by third parties, in accordance with recent legislation.
We have clarified that, in the event of a merger or acquisition, the information collected through our sites may be transferred to our acquirer. In addition, we have clarified that there are other circumstances in which we may disclose information to third parties; for example, to comply with a legal process, enforce our agreements, protect our and others’ safety and security, or to complete a transaction for you.
Finally, we have expanded the ways in which you can contact us to include our phone number and address.