Looking after your dog's teeth
Why it's important to look after your puppy's brand new teeth!
Puppies get their adult teeth when they’re about six months old. So, these new, perfect teeth are a great starting point! To help them stay that way, we want to do everything we can to keep them healthy because gum disease is extremely common in older dogs, really horrible, and very painful. It’s not just a cause of bad breath, but the gum and mouth pain it causes is very unpleasant for dogs.
It doesn't have to be that way, but it does take a bit of work.
Hopefully, our dogs will live to be a grand old age, maybe teens of years old, but the animals they evolved from didn't live anything like
that long. And that’s why their teeth were never really designed to stay the distance they have to now. If we leave nature to its own devices, the likelihood is that your dog's perfect puppy teeth will deteriorate and develop unpleasant gum disease, gum infections, and pain as the years move on.
Encourage your dog to chew to use their teeth. Choose things that are safe to chew, so nothing too hard causing them to break their teeth, but nothing they're going to chew big lumps off either, as they might get stuck.
You could adjust your dog's diet to include some biscuits or something with some crunch to help rub the surfaces of the teeth. Much of what we feed our dogs these days doesn’t require much chewing, which is such a contrast to the crunchy bones they would naturally clean their teeth by gnawing on.
As well as encouraging them to chew, cleaning your dog’s teeth is a huge help. Get into the habit as early as possible, so your dog gets used to it instead of it becoming a frightening experience. Some people think it seems silly to clean a dog’s teeth, but it is very effective at:
- Keeping the tartar down to a minimum on their teeth
- Giving you an opportunity to inspect their teeth
By keeping your dog’s teeth busy, having them chew to rub the surfaces as well as brushing them yourself, it is perfectly possible for your dog to reach old age with a lovely, healthy, and pain-free mouth.