Be aware of bad breath. Do not ignore the harsh, musky scent coming from your dog’s mouth. Picture: Max Pixel

As a proud dog owner, it’s important to prioritise your dog’s dental health or risk having to deal with gum disease or tooth decay, which can lead to bad breath, bleeding gums and tooth loss. 

Be aware of bad breath. Do not ignore the harsh, musky scent coming from your dog’s mouth. This could be a warning that your furry friend might have a periodontal (gum) disease or stomatitis, which is the inflammation of soft tissue in the mouth.

Pedigree recommends five steps on how to maintain your dog’s dental health.

Brush your dog’s teeth 

It might seem hard to do and requires patience, but the rewards are worth it. You can turn tooth brushing into a bonding session with your furry friend. Slowly try to work your way to brushing each side of the mouth for a few seconds. Do not use human toothpaste, as it is not safe for pets. Rather consult your veterinarian for a viable alternative.

Diet

If brushing your dog’s teeth ends in blood, sweat and tears, there are alternative options to maintaining and improving your dog’s oral health. Crunchy kibbles are better for your dog’s teeth than soft food. The firmer food is less likely to stick to the teeth and cause decay.

Dental treats

Did you know that four out of five dogs over the age of three have gum disease caused by plaque and tartar build up around the gums? Pedigree Dentastix are clinically proven to improve oral health by reducing plaque and tartar build-up.

Veterinarian check-ups

Humans are not the only ones who need to have their teeth checked by a professional. Your dog needs regular check-ups too. Even if they have healthy teeth, your dogs should have their teeth checked by a professional every six to twelve months. 

Request a dental exam from your veterinarian find out if your pooch has any existing or potential dental concerns. Your dog will be anaesthetised while undergoing dental work or teeth cleaning.

Encourage your dog to chew a lot

Avoid chews that have hard and solid surfaces such as cow hooves and antlers, because they can cause cracked teeth. Opt for safer objects such as chew toys as they are designed to strengthen your dogs’ gums and teeth without causing damage.