by Vicki Chaney
Dental care is one of the most important and most neglected aspects of pet care. When introducing a dental care program to your pet, plan on just having fun in the beginning. Real dental hygiene can start in a week or so, after your dog enjoys having his mouth handled. If your dog has a heavy plaque buildup, you may need to start with a professional tooth cleaning (ask your vet). Then you can keep your dog's teeth in tip top shape.
Some dental care products available are:
TOOTHPASTE: Dog toothpaste is non-foaming and doesn't need rinsing. They are also flavored to appeal to your dog.
TOOTHBRUSH: Be sure to use one for dogs! Human toothbrushes can injure dogs' gums. Also, canine toothbrushes are angled and sized to make brushing easier and more effective.
PADS: Pads are usually made of a gauze-like material, and treated with a dental care solution. Pads can be used with toothpaste to enhance their effectiveness. They are a great introduction to a dental care program for dogs that are apprehensive about a toothbrush.
ORAL CLEANING SOLUTIONS: These are made to destroy the bacteria that cause plaque. They are effective as a rinse after brushing, or alternated with brushing as part of a total dental care program.