When it comes to dental hygiene, your dog doesn’t really concern himself with strict maintenance. Like so many other pieces of his care, he’s learned to rely on you for that! In the wild, a wolf will clean his teeth by tearing meat off the bones of a fresh carcass. Then he’ll move on to the remaining skeleton for some soothing (and vastly beneficial) raw bone gnawing. But in the stark contrast of your carpeted apartment, your darling boxer doesn't exactly have easy access to freshly hunted deer. So how can you make sure your pup’s teeth stay healthy?
There are a lot of options to try and emulate the natural teeth-cleaning technique dogs have in the wild. Bully sticks, for example, are wonderful chews that come in both bison and beef (among others), which makes them great for any dog, even those with specific protein allergies! This meat chew softens at the edges and quite literally becomes like a toothbrush to mechanically rub bacteria off the tooth’s surface, and to floss out anything stuck between the teeth. Raw bones are also an outstanding compliment to your bully stick use, thanks to the wonderful enzymatic cleaning qualities found in the bone marrow center and meaty remnants. Just make sure you choose the raw bone that best suits your dog’s size and chewing style to ensure safe chewing.
For the particularly dedicated pet owner, there’s also the option to actually brush your pooch’s teeth. Every day, use a finger tooth brush and pet safe toothpaste, give them a gentle but thorough scrub. It’s been proven to significantly reduce your pet’s chance of developing gingivitis, so it’s well worth the effort!
But what about your sweet old middle-aged rescue pup, who didn’t receive proper dental care in his past home? They might already showing signs of halitosis (bad breath), and a bully stick can’t cure that. Make sure you have your veterinarian take a peek inside those chompers to see if there are any broken teeth or inflammation of the gums--both of which would require a full dental prophylaxis under anesthesia, so you want to catch them as early as possible.
Lastly, just like with humans, a good diet is the foundation to a healthy smile. If you are the lucky owner of a growing pup, now is the perfect time to get them on a balanced diet so their dentin and enamel can come in strong with their adult teeth! Raw, fermented goat’s milk can be an amazing way to augment a young dog’s diet while adding a plethora of excellent probiotics to the mix. Want 15% off some of it this week? Come on in to the store and mention this post!