Doggie Dental Care
You brush your teeth say two or even three times a day, right? Does you doggo brush theirs too? Even if they could, I very much doubt Frenchie's would bother, given their eat, sleep, zoom repeat lifestyle. Just like us, they have just one set once their baby teeth are gone, so they need to be looked after. Here's our tips on how to care for your canine's dental assets.
Prevention is of course better than cure
If we don't help our four-legged friends keep their teeth clean, then just like with us, plaque (which you can't see) starts to build up and eventually harden to a brownish coloured tartar.
This tartar can damage the teeth and gums, so it's important to act in advance. Once it's there, it can often only be removed by a procedure at the vets, or left untreated can lead to painful inflammation, disease and tooth loss. I'm sure we'd like to avoid any of those outcomes and even that tartar removing trip to the vets, so get yourself and your Frenchie into a daily routine if possible.
Chew, chew, and chew some more!
Dogs love to chew as I'm sure you've already discovered, and this actually helps remove plaque and tartar build up on their teeth. Before us humans started brushing our teeth with toothpaste, it's actually believed we used to chew on sticks just like dogs do, to help keep plaque under control. That image of your Frenchie running around with an oversized stick in their mouth now seems to turn on a light bulb doesn't it?
Chewing helps dog's oral health in a number of ways, just like chewing gum can help us humans do the same. The action of chewing releases saliva because the body thinks food is coming, which helps wash away any last remnants of dinner time. Chewing can also physically dislodge plaque and tartar from teeth, by directly rubbing it off the surface of the tooth itself. Win win!
There are many dental chews on the market for this reason. It's an easy way to get some benefit to your dog's oral health, it can double up as a tasty after dinner treat, and if you pick the right one it can also add a healthy boost to your dog's diet since they will swallow them once they're broken down. Does that make a triple win? Can we make that a thing?
We're very careful what we feed Obi, since it's one of the best ways to keep him as healthy as possible. For that reason he's raw fed (you can read more on this and the benefits of a raw diet in a later post), and anything else that goes in his mouth - except for all the random things he sneaks off the floor whilst out and about - we try to keep healthy too.
We've read loads of ingredient lists off the back of dental chew packs, tried a few of the best content dental chews with Obi, and for us there's a clear favourite for both us and him.
The Woofbrush from Lily's Kitchen uses natural ingredients like coconut oil, fennel and parsley to form a spongey texture which can get to those hard to reach areas. It's natural, nutritious, and given Obi's reaction as soon as we say the words "toothbrush" or "woofbrush", we're pretty sure it's delicious too.
What else can we do?
If you can get your dog used to you putting your fingers and other things into their mouths (we recommended slowly building your dog up to this when they're in a quiet and restful mood), then you can actually brush your dog's teeth with a specially designed toothbrush and doggie toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste since this is designed to be spat out, and can harm your dog's stomach if ingested.
Most dog toothpaste formulas are meat flavoured, so that helps them comply, and if you approach this exercise in the right way you may even find your dog more than willing to have his/her daily dose of meat paste brushed around their mouth. There are two main types, one regular, and the other which is enzymatic. We'd recommend this since it directly helps breakdown food and plaque.
Good luck and let us know how you get on, we'd love to hear about your dog's dental routine!
This blog includes affiliated external links, and The Frenchie Stories may earn a small commission on goods subsequently purchased by following these links, but rest assured this this doesn't cost the reader a penny.