Tips on taking care of your dog's teeth – The Providence Journal

February is National Pet Dental Health month. We may brush our teeth at least twice a day, but brushing your dog’s teeth is an important part of their care, too. It must be done regularly to keep his mouth and teeth healthy and to prevent bad breath and gum disease.
The American Kennel Club offers the following tips to keeping your pup’s teeth dentist-approved:
• Brush your dog’s teeth daily so it becomes routine and easier on you both.
• Use flavored enzymatic toothpaste, specially formulated for dogs, with a doggie or child’s toothbrush. Brush his teeth like you would your own and focus extra attention on the gum line.
• Consistency is key. Start with short sessions, even letting your dog just lick the brush or touch it to one tooth, so he gets used to it and begins to accept the process. Work up to more thorough brushing sessions. Give different flavors of toothpaste a try and see which one he likes best. Make sure to reward with praise and a dental treat to keep him happy in the proverbial dentist’s chair.
• If his gums start to bleed or he is showing any signs of pain, call your veterinarian. This may be a sign of gum disease. If you see that he has accumulated brown tartar, he needs to have a professional dental cleaning.
• If you notice inflamed gums, you should take your dog to the vet. This could be a sign of severe problems. The most common sign of dental pain is lethargy. It’s important to regularly examine your dog’s teeth because untreated oral infections could spread to the kidneys, heart or liver.
For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at


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