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Dental Health Awareness

February is Pet Dental Health Month, and here at Seattle Pup Magazine we take doggie dental health very seriously. As a former veterinary technician, I once pulled 27 teeth from one dog! And many of those teeth gave very little resistance. At-home dental care is a great way to help ensure your pet doesn’t have to suffer the same fate.

Photo provided by Wendi Black - Example of a happy, healthy smile!


When starting an at-home dental routine, you want to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for your pup. Otherwise, they will give you a hard time every time, and you won’t want to continue. Pick a treat or activity that your pet loves and always reward them after brushing their teeth. This positive reinforcement will eventually lead them to look forward to the activity. You want to brush their teeth with dog toothpaste. Human toothpaste has ingredients that are not meant to be ingested (and there is no way to prevent your dog from swallowing toothpaste). Take your time on each tooth. You don’t have to do every tooth every day. It’s great if you can! But if you do upper teeth twice a week and lower teeth twice a week that is still going to help a lot with your pet’s dental health.



Dental food and treats are also available to help keep your pup’s dental health in order if brushing is absolutely impossible. You want to make sure that any dental treat or product you purchase has the dental seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Click HERE to view all of their recommended products on dogs, from foods and snacks that promote dental health, to toothpaste you can use for brushing.


Sample of what the VOHC seal of approval looks like above


Though at-home care is very important, a routine professional dental prophylaxis should still be done at your local veterinary clinic. At-home care can prolong the time between these procedures, but it cannot negate the need entirely. Every pet is a little different. Some pets are able to do professional cleanings every two years or so, whereas others need it done every six months (smaller dogs tend to need more frequent cleanings).


Good routine dental care, both at home and in the clinic, can dramatically improve your pets longevity and ensure they will not become one of those poor pooches that need 27 extractions in one day (a costly endeavor). A healthy mouth, free of aches or pains, is so much more important than we give it credit for! Consult with your veterinarian about your pet’s dental health and when they recommend the next dental cleaning. Like with human dentistry, your veterinarian may be booked out a month or two for a routine cleaning, which is another reason it is important to set up a game plan and make your appointments ahead of time. Most veterinary clinics can only do a handful of dental procedures a day. For more information about dog dental health, check out Northgate Veterinary Hospitals page HERE.


Article by Wendi Black

February 2022


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