Did You Know?
- 80 Percent of dogs show signs of periodontal disease by the age of 3.
- The risk of periodontal disease increases 20 percent with each year of a dog’s life
- Proper dental care could extend the life of your dog up to 5 years
The Good News?
- Periodontal disease is completely preventable!
- Adopting a home dental care routine may seem overwhelming, but fear not! The dog experts here at Oxyfresh have done your homework for you!
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TIP #1 Choose Chew Toys and Treats Wisely
- ConsumerAffairs.com found that a variety of dog toys shipped in from China are tainted with toxic heavy metals. When dogs lick and chew these toys, cancer agents and neurological poisons are released.
- Tennis balls made specifically for dogs are more likely to contain lead than “sports” tennis balls. Long-term exposure to lead can cause vomiting, weight loss and seizures in dogs.
- Avoid toys treated with fire retardants or stain guard – they may contain formaldehyde and other chemicals.
- BHA, a known cancer-causing compound, is an additive found in many dog treats. Look for this on the list of ingredients.
- Knucklebones, rubber or nylon toys with a rough or bumpy surface feel great on the teeth and won’t cause fractures.
- For plaque fighting power, look for dental treats that have received the Registered Seal by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).
- Look for earth-friendly products or organic labels. These products are less likely to have toxic materials.
- Look for toys labeled BPA-free or made in the U.S. from 100% natural rubber.
- Jerky treats from China have sickened more than 6,000 dogs. Stick to the treats that specifically say “Made in the USA.
Tip #2 Get Brushing!
- Pick a time of day that is relaxed with minimal distractions (preferably when your dog is worn out from exercise).
- Gather your supplies. (Don’t forget the treats!) Let your dog sniff and lick the toothpaste and toothbrush so he gets used to the texture of these items
- Get in Position! Kneel or sit in front of or to the side of your dog. Don’t stand above your dog or hold him down, as your dog will feel threatened by this.
- Put some toothpaste on the brush. Placing one hand over the top of your dog’s muzzle, gently lift his lips. With your other hand, brush a few teeth in a circular motion at a 45-degree angle. After only two or three seconds of brushing, stop and release your dog’s muzzle. Reward him with a treat.
- Repeat step 5 two or three times a day for one to two weeks. Slowly increase the time you spend brushing with each session and increase the number of teeth you brush. (Don’t forget the gum line!)
- Once you have the hang of it, try gently opening your dog’s jaws to brush the back teeth. Don’t worry if it’s too hard to brush the inside of his teeth; periodontal disease is more common on the outside of teeth.
- Always end each session with a special reward, whether it’s affection, playtime or a treat … even if the process didn’t go well. You want your dog to learn that good things always happen when his teeth are brushed!
Tip #3 Scrap Certain Table Scraps
Those pleading puppy dog eyes sure can be hard to resist. If you just can’t help treating your dog to table scraps, be sure to avoid giving:
- dairy products
These two food groups are the biggest culprits for increasing plaque and tartar buildup.
Follow these expert tips and adopt a dental routine you and your dog will love!
- Regularly smell and inspect your dog’s mouth
- Provide plenty of safe chew toys and treats
- Go easy on the table scraps
- Get brushing
- Use an approved oral hygiene solution