Donít dismiss doggie breath. That odious odor could be an early warning sign of gingivitis or other dental problems. But these six simple tips will help you keep your darling doggieís teeth their pearliest white:
1. Look inside your dogís mouth at least twice a week and check for signs of deterioration, especially bleeding gums, pale gums, persistent foul breath, tartar buildup, decay, sores, or broken and missing teeth.
2. Provide fresh water daily. Bacteria can buildup inside bowls containing water that is more than two days old.
3. Feed your dog a raw carrot to help scrub away plaque. Itís also a good source of vitamins A and C and fiber.
4. Avoid giving your dog real bones. Youíll run the risk of splinters with sharp edges that can cut a dogís mouth and intestinal lining.
5. To get your dog used to the brushing routine, break it down into a few steps done over a series of brushing sessions. Dip your finger into beef bouillon and then rub the finger gently over her mouth and teeth. Gradually add gauze to your finger and gently scrub the teeth in a circular motion. Finally, introduce a soft toothbrush designed for dogs and use a meat-flavored toothpaste.
6. Schedule a yearly professional dental cleaning to get rid of stubborn tartar. The vet can also look for any tooth damage and make necessary repairs.
Adapted from 50 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Dog, by Arden Moore (Storey Books, 2000). Copyright (c) 2000 by Arden Moore. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Adapted from 50 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Dog, by Arden Moore (Storey Books, 2000).