Your new little friend is finally home! Talk about a 10 out of 10 on the cuteness scale. Now that your puppy is settling in, let’s touch on something all new doggy parents need to know about: good dental hygiene for puppies. If you start a routine of dental care for puppies when they’re young, you can help keep their teeth clean and their mouth healthy as they get older.
And, while puppy breath might be cute now, doggy breath isn’t so adorable.
1. Teach 'em when they're young
The first step is to teach your puppy it’s OK for people to touch their mouth and muzzle. The best time to do this is when your puppy is snuggling with you.
Just move your pup’s upper lip aside and rub their front teeth and gums with your finger. Gently open and close their mouth and be sure to give your puppy lots of praise for being so polite.
OPEN UP AND SAY, "AHH."
2. Toothbrushes for dogs (yes, we're serious)
Who knew brushing puppy teeth was a thing? Well, it is!
Start with a specially designed doggy toothbrush or one that fits on your index finger and is appropriately sized for your puppy’s mouth. Then gently move the brush in small circles to clean your pup’s teeth and remove pesky plaque.
Do this daily — or at least a few times a week at first — to help your puppy learn the tooth-brushing routine and keep those razor-sharp puppy teeth perfectly polished.
3. Toothpaste Flavors For Dogs
Peanut butter–flavored toothpaste? Chicken and beef flavors, too?
If your puppy could talk, they’d say, “Yes, please!”
Not only does doggy toothpaste come in mouthwatering, grin-inducing flavors, it’s formulated just for dogs.
And just to be safe: People toothpaste contains ingredients that could be unsafe for your little friend, so you shouldn’t use it when brushing your puppy’s teeth.
PEANUT. BUTTER. FLAVORED. TOOTHPASTE.
4. Tooth Wipes For Dogs (For The Win!)
Whether your pint-size pooch isn’t a big fan of brushing or you’re looking for a quick, convenient alternative to brushing, dog teeth wipes are a great solution. (But be sure to check the label and make sure your pup is old enough to use them.)
Just rub them against your puppy’s teeth to help remove plaque. Of course, nothing gets in the nooks and crannies like a toothbrush, but dog dental wipes are easy to use and still help get the job done.
NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.
5. T-A-S-T-Y dental chews
Sure, delicious dental chews make awesome once-a-day treats for polite puppies who are 6 months or older, but they’re also amazing for your pup’s dental health. They help keep:
- Your little buddy’s chompers clean
- Their gumline gleaming
- Your puppy’s mouth healthy because of their easy-to-chew texture.
Now reward your little friend with dental treats like GREENIES™ Puppy Treats if they’re over 6 months old.
SIT, LITTLE PUPPER, SIT... GOOD DOG.
6. Trips to the vet
Did you know that 76% of adult dogs have oral health issues, according to Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health® 2016 Report?
That's why the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that your vet check your puppy’s teeth and gums at least once a year. They may also recommend a professional cleaning.
Now you know the 6 Ts of puppy dental care…happy puppy parenting!