Six important tips to keep your dog’s teeth healthy

As a responsible pet owner, you’re concerned with making sure your pup’s teeth are in top shape. Periodontal disease is extremely dangerous for our furry friends. A regular cleaning, typically once a year, is the best way to wipe out dangerous tartar buildup. In between cleanings there are steps you can take to minimize or maintain the buildup. The following 6 tips will help you keep your pup’s teeth healthy between cleanings.

1. Brushing

You’ve heard that brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is essential. The fact is that you just have to do it – just like you do for yourself. The goal of a light, regular brushing is to remove the day’s plaque buildup so it does not become tartar, which can cause inflammation and dangerous infection. You should brush your dog’s teeth ideally once daily after her last meal of the day. Try to make a habit out of it!

Our dual size dog toothbrush and rubber finger cap dog toothbrush are great options for dogs of all sizes.

Fresh Mint Scented Brushing Ball and Brushing Bone by Project Play™BRUSHING BALL AND BRUSHING BONE BY PROJECT PLAY™

2. Dental Chew Toys

Chew toys are designed to get your pup to clean her own teeth. Could there be anything better than that?! The ideal chew toy will feature grooves and nubs that create chew-interest and provide a tooth and gum massage when gnawed on. If you watch your dog with a chew toy in her mouth you’ll see just how much she loves the feeling!

It’s more than just an enjoyable experience for your pooch – the “mouth massage” actually scrubs food remnants and plaque off your pup’s teeth, while stimulating helpful blood flow in her gums.

Our pet-safe rubber brushing bone and brushing ball are available in two sizes so you can pick the perfect fit for your pup. Plus, they’re infused with fresh mint scent to help eliminate dog breath. Even better – each toy purchased provides 1 toy to shelter dogs!

3. Dental Treats

Quality dental treats can majorly benefit your pup’s health and well-being. These treats are specifically formulated to clean your dog’s teeth almost as effectively as brushing. The consistency of the treat is such that the act of chewing rubs off plaque. They are fortified with ingredients to help prevent further build-up and freshen your pup’s breath. Plus, dogs typically love the taste and experience of a good dental treat.

Be careful when shopping, however, as many dental treat products contain questionable ingredients, or excessive fat and sugar, meaning extra calories your pup doesn’t need in his diet. Our own trial and error with other products led us to develop the Project Paws™ Grain Free Triple Enzyme Dental Sticks. They come with the Project Paws™ Promise meaning that if you haven’t seen an improvement in your pup we’ll refund the full purchase price (don’t worry though, we still donate the meals).

4. Healthy, Natural Diet

Kibble is the go-to diet for our pups but it doesn’t exist in the wild. Pet kibble is rich in carbohydrates that are used as more of a filler than for nutrition. These carbs add to plaque build up. A fresh diet of quality meat and certain vegetables results in much less plaque and tartar buildup compared with that of a diet high in carbohydrates.

Many pet parents report that they see a drastic improvement in their pups’ dental health, in addition to other beneficial changes in their health with a raw foods diet. Pet Fooled, the popular and controversial documentary discussing the benefits of a raw diet and how the movement began, is a good resource for learning about raw feeding.

5. Raw Bones

Raw bones are fantastic for cleaning teeth. While the dog is gnawing on the bone, the edges buff off plaque and can scrape off tartar. It won’t do the job of a cleaning but many pet owners claim that they do not have to do regular cleanings when they throw their dog a bone 2-3 times a week

In addition to its amazing teeth cleaning power, a bone is a good source of vital nourishment. Ask your butcher for soup bones or knuckle bones. Not all dog breeds can handle raw bones. Always consult your vet before giving your pup a bone. We recommend having your dog enjoy her bone outside to avoid any mess!

6. Scale Your Dog’s Teeth

If your pet is especially susceptible to tartar buildup, scaling, or scraping off the tartar with a metal tool, just like the dentist does for your own cleanings, may be an option. Scaling your dog’s teeth needs to be done very, very carefully and gently. You need the proper tools, supplies and a lot of time and patience. We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian first, before giving it a go!

Many senior pet parents worry over having their pets go through a thorough dental cleaning at the vet due to the risk of complications or death involved in anesthesia. Studies show that the risk of death is about 1 in 2,000. Although the risk is very low,
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