Taking Care of your Pup’s Oral Health

Just like humans, dogs need proper dental care. Your pup cannot enjoy his or her favorite daily activities without a strong and healthy mouth. Dogs actually experience many similar dental issues as us humans do. Therefore, without proper maintenance, your dog’s oral cavity can potentially suffer from a plethora of health problems. 

Oftentimes, pet owners seem a little apprehensive about bringing their dogs to the vet for regular cleanings. Putting dogs under anesthesia can be very frightening. But, it is actually quite safe, according to established veterinarian Dr. Curd, owner of Ellison Drive Animal Hospital. Through her experience, she’s confronted many similar concerns from pet owners regarding dental care for their dogs. She always seeks to enlighten pet owners on the importance of dog dental health and the best ways to go about it.

We consulted Dr. Curd to answer the most commonly asked questions on doggie dental care. Her expertise shines light on just how vital it is to keep your dog’s mouth clean and healthy. Here are her answers to the top 5 questions asked about dog dental care.

How often should dogs get dental cleanings?

It’s safe to say that dogs can have routine dental cleanings as often as every 6 months. Consistent check-ups safeguard a pet’s long-term oral health. Frequency of cleanings can depend on the kind of dog. I always advise asking your vet’s opinion in regards to your dog’s specific breed and size. Overall, vet offices typically do regular cleanings on a yearly basis. But, just like for humans, we vets suggest a dental exam every 6 month for a thorough evaluation of a dog’s teeth.


What makes dental cleanings more expensive?

Oftentimes, dog dental care gets a bad rap for being very cost-effective. Usually, what makes a dog’s dental cleanings super expensive isn’t an ordinary cleaning. The expense comes out of a lack of oral hygiene. Its like anyone not going to the dentist for years. If you need a root canal, it is going to cost a ton!

Many pet owners are surprised by how many dental issues dogs have in common with humans. A big one is gum disease. This can result from neglecting a dog’s dental health for long periods of time. A lack of doggie dental care can also increase the chances of other painful issues. Without consistent oral cavity care, more pockets in the mouth become prone to infection. More problems mean more work for the vet, which ultimately reflects in the cost of dental care.

In order to prevent this, owners should make their dog’s oral hygiene a priority. That goes beyond just regular professional cleanings. There are many supplemental ways to help your dog’s mouth stay healthy. For example, paying attention to your dog’s diet or checking your pup’s mouth plaque build-up.


What should I expect after getting my dog’s teeth cleaned?

Dogs typically experience a complete change in attitude after a cleaning. They are generally happier and very eager to get back to their usual habits. As we know, when our pups are happy, we are usually happy too!

To further guarantee your dog feels the best after a cleaning, I do suggest mild sedation in the evening of cleaning. This will definitely help relax your pup. You can inquire about these with your vet.



How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?

Quite like humans, you really should attempt to brush your dog’s teeth daily. This may sound like a big ask. But, it will prevent plaque build-up and protect your dog from future oral health. And, as we know, fewer major issues protect your out-of-pocket vet costs too.

I cannot deny that many dogs do put up a fight when getting their teeth brushed. If you do not experience any issues while cleaning your dog’s teeth, then fantastic! If not, I do advise frequently using an antimicrobial dental water additive. This is very similar to mouthwash for dogs. A dental water additive will leave your dog’s mouth pretty fresh and clean.

Can I clean my dog’s teeth without brushing?

As I mentioned before, dental water additives are a great pick if brushing is a tough task or if you do not have a ton of time. Additives are plain and simple to use. All you do is mix the additive solution right into your pet’s water bowl. It’s that easy! I suggest Acquadent. It is very effective – many of my patients love it.

Apart from specific treatments, there are other effective ways to maintain your dog’s oral hygiene. Dog treats are one of them. There are plenty of dental chews out there. These chews are made with various ingredients and flavors. That way, you can find something your dog will love while also routinely strengthening their oral health.

There are also certain foods out there that are fantastic for a dog’s dental health. These ‘dental foods’ can be found in raw form or even in your dog’s food. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are great for gum health. Dogs can stock up on them through salmon or fish-based proteins. These fatty acids are also found in supplement form. Also, dog-friendly antioxidant-rich foods can help support teeth health as well.

Our dogs are our best friends. Keeping them happy, healthy, and pain-free is a must. That means preventing poor oral health. Thanks to the helpful advice of Dr. Curd, we have a much better understanding of the common dental questions dog owners have. If you still have more to ask, we always suggest giving a call or making a visit to your veterinarian, as Dr. Curd advised. Veterinarians will happily answer questions specific to your furry friend.


Let’s keep our pups smiling!