There's so much to learn when you get a new puppy. One of the important know-hows is how to properly help your pup throughout their teething process. To make it easier for you, we've compiled a list of important tips and basics on how to care for your puppy's teeth.
It's a good idea to start poking your hand (make sure to wash them before & after) in your pup's mouth every now and then so that he becomes used to it before your begin to try brushing his teeth. Start early by playfully touching his teeth, gums, and lips. In this way your puppy can start forming a positive reaction about the experience and be more relaxed when you brush his teeth or when you have to take him for a mouth-related check up at the vet.
When your pup is in his teething stage, it is recommended that you start brushing his teeth with a very soft bristled toothbrush so that he can get used to the feel and prevent him from having a fear of brushing in the future. In addition, make sure that the toothpaste that you use is specially formulated for dogs. Human toothpastes contain fluoride and xylitol which can be toxic for your pup.
During your pup's teething process, you may notice that he's eager to chew on pretty much everything and anything you have lying around in the house. So, in order to make sure that he has something safe to chew on (and that your shoes and furniture are safe from your pups chompers), it is important to provide your pup with soft teething toys. The toys should be firm but flexible and not too hard as it can chip and damage your pup's teeth. One test you can do to check if it's too hard for your puppy's growing teeth is to try to make a dent in the chew toy with your fingernails. There are also some chew toys that can be put in the fridge and given to your pups to offer your pup's irritated gums added relief.
Check which types of food are good for your pup's dental health. Dry foods are an excellent choice as they can help scrape off any leftover foods, plaque, or bacteria that may be stuck on their teeth. On the other hands, wet foods may easily get stuck between your pup's teeth and cause some dental issues. It may be a good idea to start slowly mixing in dry dog food to help your pup transition over and get use to dry foods or at least alternate between the two.
In case you didn't know, there are a wide range of dental treats you can give to your pup that helps scrape off excess food and plaque from your puppy's teeth. Some treats even help freshen your dog's breath. When deciding which brand to choose from, it is important to check that these dental treats are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) to ensure that what the product claims has been tested and verified.
In order to ensure that you are thoroughly cleaning your pup's teeth - especially those hard-to-reach places - it may be a good idea to book a professional to give your pup's teeth a deep cleaning. However, one thing to note is that these professional deep cleaning places will most likely put your dog under anesthesia.
Just like humans, establishing a good dental routine for your puppy is essential to keep their teeth healthy. Anywhere from daily brushing to once every three days can significantly help prevent buildup from developing between your puppy's teeth. If you do it on a consistent basis and try to make the experience positive, then your puppy may also find the teeth-brushing process enjoyable. Having a regular dental care routine can also help you to be aware of any possible issues early on so that you can quickly reach out to your vet and resolve the issue before things get worse.