The importance of proper dental care for pets has received considerable attention in recent years, and for good reason. By the age of four, more than 70% of domestic dogs show signs of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss, bacterial infections, and any number of periodontal diseases. Good oral hygiene is now recognized as a must for pets and is something your puppy must rely on you for.
Feed a hard kibble dog food or biscuits at least once a day. The friction from chewing the hard food cleans the teeth while providing the teething benefits your puppy needs.
Hard nylon or rawhide bones help remove plaque. Give your puppy a hard chew toy at least once a week. Brush your pet's teeth several times a week, at least, with a soft-bristled nylon toothbrush and a plaque-retardant, tartar-control toothpaste. Brush in a circular motion as you would your own teeth. Expect minor gum bleeding until the gums tighten.
Keep the folds of skin around the mouth clean and free of food with dental cleansers.
In severe cases of tartar buildup, teeth may have to be scaled and polished to remove tartar. It is easy and most pets tolerate it well. You can use a tooth scaler or have the cleaning done by your veterinarian.
Good oral hygiene started early and continued regularly will not only prevent bad breath, tooth loss, and gum disease, but it will help give your pet a healthy and happy lifestyle in later years.