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Have you brushed your dog's teeth lately? 
Updated: 2/28/2013 8:44:58 PM
 

When was the last time you brushed your dog

Anyone who owns a dog knows what lovable companions pooches can be. They are loyal, smart, loving and are a constant source of joy in the lives of their owners. While people who love their dogs walk them regularly and always make sure they are clean and well-fed, they may forget to do one more important thing for their pets - care for their dental health. Dogs' teeth are not that different from people's and can decay and experience a number of other issues if  not cared for properly. This is why it's important for people to make sure their dogs' oral health is in tip-top shape. 

Some individuals may be unsure of what they are supposed to do to care for their dogs' teeth. These people shouldn't worry, since looking out for a dogs' dental health is fairly simple and does not take very much time at all. 

Veterinarian Marty Becker recently wrote and article for the Sacramento Bee, explaining some of the basics of cleaning dogs' teeth and why doing so is important

"My goal is to show that I practice what I preach because I believe good dental care is essential not only to your pet's health, but also to its quality of life. Broken, rotting teeth and infected gums make pets miserable, and I can't tell you how many times I've opened a pet's mouth in an exam room to see gums so inflamed they look as if a blowtorch had been passed over them," wrote Becker for the news source. 

Look out for bad breath - According to Becker, while many people may think that a dog's breath is supposed to smell terrible, it isn't. While a dog's breath may be a little ranker than people are used to getting from humans, particularly foul-smelling breath is a sign that there is a dental issue that needs to be taken care of.  

Add some dry kibble - Some people strictly give their dog wet food. While this is certainly something that the animal may enjoy, it's important to add some dry food to the mix every now and then. WebMD explains that dry foods are abrasive and keep the teeth clean, which is why dogs need to consume it at least a few times a week.

Brush their teeth - People need to brush their dogs' teeth at least a few times a week, and even once a day if possible. This won't be as difficult as many people may think it is. Individuals can visit their veterinarian who can show them how to properly brush those pearly whites, and they'll see that it's not that much of a hassle. Of course, people need to remember that they have to purchase specific toothbrushes and toothpaste specifically designed for dogs - the kinds human use will not do. 

Get the right toys - Some toys are created with a dog's dental health in mind, and people can find those at their local pet store. Individuals should also check to make sure that any toys that their dogs are currently playing with on a regular basis are safe for their teeth. Chew toys that appear hard enough to break the tooth most likely are not, which is why people should not let their dogs play with them. 

Remember, just like with people, a dog with good dental health is a happy and healthy dog. Individuals who take good care of their dogs' teeth may find that their dogs have a longer life, and who doesn't want that? 

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