Now that your puppy has a full mouth of pearly white chompers, your job is to keep them that way. Dogs don’t have the sense to use their tongue to dislodge chewed food from their teeth—that combined with plaque in the mouth can lead to dog with stinky breath, if periodontal disease occurs, serious medical problems.
- By brushing your puppy’s teeth regularly, you can prevent or decrease the need for veterinary cleanings, which usually require anesthetizing the dog. Watch Video
- Begin by gently scrubbing the teeth with a finger brush or gauze pad. Later you can graduate to a toothbrush and canine toothpaste. Toothbrushes should be soft, and toothpaste must be formulated for a dog’s system (an enzymatic toothpaste will work both mechanically and chemically to destroy plaque). Toothpaste made for people can cause an upset stomach if your pup swallows it. Teeth can also be cleaned with a paste made of baking soda and water.
Also, certain foods, treats, and other products are available to help reduce plaque. Look for products that have a seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council.