Eco-friendly Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

Eco-friendly Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

There are many reasons to take precautions to manage your dog’s dental health. There are those gorgeous toothy dog smiles, the loving but slobbery puppy kisses, and most importantly, their physical health. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and in this blog post we will share several methods of keeping your dog’s teeth clean in an eco-friendly way. 

Why Dental Health is Important for Dogs

Of course, puppy kisses are that much sweeter when your dog has clean teeth and fresh breath. However, the reasons for dental health care in dogs go far beyond a sniff test. Just like in humans, a dog can be in pain when their teeth and gums are not clean and healthy. And unlike we humans, they cannot tell us that they have a toothache or that it hurts to chew or eat. 

Dental disease in dogs also produces harmful bacteria that can affect your dog’s entire body. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.” 

Eco-friendly Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

Fortunately, there are several ways to help prevent plaque and tartar from building up on your dog’s teeth. 

Eco Friendly Teeth Cleaning Products for Dogs

There is a huge assortment of eco-friendly dog toothbrushes and toothpaste on the market. These products have come a long way in recent years. Manufacturers have answered the demand for biodegradable toothbrushes made of materials like bamboo.  If your dog is not accepting of a toothbrush or finger brush, you can also use a clean, damp washcloth. There are several all-natural toothpaste options for dogs that you can purchase.

No matter which products you choose to clean your dog’s teeth, remember to only purchase products made specifically for dogs. Human products contain ingredients that can be harmful to dogs, including the extremely toxic fake sweetener Xylitol. Toothbrushes made for humans are designed to clean our teeth, which have a substantially different structure than canine teeth. 

If you are new to brushing your dog’s teeth, it is important to start slowly and exercise plenty of patience. Let your dog check out the toothbrush before you begin. Remember to brush gently so that you do not irritate your dog’s gums. Take frequent breaks and perform the task over the course of a few days if your dog starts to grow tired of the activity. The more fun you make the task, the more likely your dog will allow you to clean their teeth without fuss. 

Probiotics and Water Supplements

Plaque on teeth is caused by bacteria. According to Dog’s Naturally Magazine, “Plaque begins to interact with minerals like calcium and phosphorus in your dog’s diet and when this happens, the film becomes hardened. This is called calculus or tartar.”  In the same article, author Dana Scott reports that probiotics can help preventing dental problems by fighting harmful bacteria, reducing inflammation, and improving PH and oxygen levels. 

There are several good canine probiotics on the market, including the water additive Teef Protektin42™, which has won several awards since being introduced to the pet care market. Many good quality pet foods contain pre-biotics and probiotics in their formulas, giving your dog one more way to fight bacteria starting in their gut. 

Chew Toys and Bones

Chewing on dog chew toys and bones is not just for fun. The act of chewing can help keep your dog’s teeth clean. A researcher from Rutgers University Camden studied the effect of chewing on bones and chew toys, and found that, “This study was effective at showing that various dental products and natural chew treats are able to reduce the amount of bacteria on a dog’s teeth. Many of the samples taken showed a significant reduction in the amount of bacteria after treatment.”

Of course, not all chew toys and bones are safe for your pet. Many mainstream products are full of chemicals and materials that can harm your pet. At Pure Earth Pets we pride ourselves on carrying several eco-friendly chew toys that are also safe for your pet. These include the Spunky Pup Clean Earth Recycled Bone, the Jolly Pets Flex N Chew Bone,  and the WO Ball. 

In the treat category, we love the Himalayan Dog Chew Bone, the Cheese Spread Antler, and the Happy Teeth Spinach Dental Dog Treats. Your dog will love these and have no idea that they are also cleaning their teeth while they enjoy their favorite chew. 

Veterinary Dental Cleanings for Dogs

Your veterinarian will examine your dog’s teeth at each annual exam. It is important to remember that the cleaning methods and preventative tips in this blog post do not constitute official veterinary advice. Your dog may still need professional cleanings or dental extractions to keep them healthy, particularly as they age. Professional cleanings are performed under anesthesia to allow the veterinary staff the ability to perform a full and comprehensive exam and cleaning using tools that many dogs will not tolerate while awake. 

Does your dog have pearly white teeth or an adorable toothy smile? Share your smiling pups on the Pure Earth Pets Facebook page or tag us on Instagram. 

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