Dental care in dogs
Preventative dental care of dogs is all about removing the bacterial plaque from the teeth before it can be converted into tartar, which then starts affecting the gum line. The natural way for this to occur is by dogs chewing into a carcass through skin and muscle fibres, then chewing on the bones afterwards.
Brushing a dog's teeth daily can help prevent tartar build up. Most dogs will allow their teeth to be brushed with a little training, but it does require a level of commitment to do this. Dogs require a soft toothbrush (either a special dog brush or a child's one) and a special toothpaste designed for dogs. Dog toothpaste contains no fluoride or frothing agents because dogs will swallow their toothpaste. Many contain enzymes which help prevent tartar build-up.
Regular chews are a natural way for a dog to keep their teeth clean and most dogs will enjoy chewing. There all sorts of chews available, just make sure you get one the right size for your dog.
Some diets are marketed which will reduce tartar build-up (speak to one of our nurses to find out what is available). There is also something called the "raw meaty bones diet". This gives a very natural diet which requires a lot of chewing and does keep the teeth very clean, but requires some freezer space and commitment to provide safely.